I recently had friends visiting for the weekend and was asked, “What does Katherine like to watch on TV?” I answered that she didn’t watch TV. They were shocked. None? How is that possible? I explained that she wasn’t allowed to watch TV until she was two. This was again viewed with utter disbelief. I’m not sure why this shocks people, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages TV viewing in the first two years of life, but only six per cent of parents are aware of this advice despite ongoing publicity.
No TV watching seems normal to me. I grew up in a household with very little television watching. We were not allowed to watch TV after school and we were allowed thirty minutes to one hour in the evening. My parents were both educators and TV was always referred to as the “boob tube.” I can remember being forced to read thirty minutes a day for enjoyment and there was always a “word of the week” taped to the refrigerator to help boost our vocabulary and verbal scores on standardized test. I’ll probably do these same things, and I am fully aware it isn’t the norm.
I want my daughter to have a myriad of words to choose from to express herself (myriad was taped to the fridge in 8th grade). And if banning Baby Einstein video is my first step, then so be it. A study by the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research institute said that rather than helping babies, the over-use of such productions (Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby) may slow down infants eight to sixteen months of age when it comes to acquiring vocabulary. Yikes!
In parenthood, there are just certain things you will do that others view as weird or straight up crazy. I think this might be my thing. Some parents are all about organic food or baby wearing and Lord knows I have opinions about those things, but I am learning to keep those opinions to myself. Because we all have our thing. It’s ok; it’s what makes us unique.