I just completed reading Antonio Scorto’s blog. This is what he had to say:
Paper Mario, Wii virtual console (N64). My son (he’s almost seven) loves this game. He, however, like many boys his age, does not enjoy reading, and complains when we have him read to us, but this game has a lot of reading, and I mean, a lot of reading. It’s mostly at his level . . once in a while we have to help him with a word . . and I’d say that it’s very similar to if we had him read a comic book, except that it’s interactive. There is also a lot of decision making and higher order thinking going on. The best part about this is that he is limited to 30 minutes of TV time a day (including this). He can earn another 30 minutes by doing “talking to mom time.” Talking to mom time comprises of him actually reading a real book, and/or working on his writing for 30 minutes with my wife (she teaches HS). He begs to do this “talking to mom time” so he can play Paper Mario, which is mostly reading, decision making, problem solving, etc.
I took it upon myself to do some research. I did some looking and found that children under 2 years old should not have any screen time. And children over 2 years old should have no more than 2 hours of screen time. These facts are from the American Association of Pediatrics via kidshealth.org
What bothers me are companies like Baby Einstein. Check it out. Look at their website. You tell me if they are promising parents that their children will be getting into Ivy League schools or elite private schools that contain the word “friend” in their name. I think this is wrong. This situation reminds of what the federal government does with tobacco in this country. On one hand, the government subsidizes tobacco farms because smoking and tobacco sales are down, which of course is good for the overall health of country. Now, on the other hand, the government gives money to agencies to promote anti-smoking campaigns. What Baby Einstein is doing is no worse than Crown Royal having a billboard advertising their liquor that faces a high school. What makes Baby Einstein worse than Crown Royal, which I don’t know for sure advertises near a high school, is that Crown Royal is not promising to make you smarter.
Tony, I think it is great that you limit how much screen time your son get. I’m just not sure how many parents limit time for their children.