Where's the TV?
Did you know that The American Pediatrics Association advises that children under the age of two never watch television or get in front of a computer screen?
New neurological research shows that visual stimuli like television and computers are not educational for young children and probably somewhat damaging. The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body. It ages in regard to how it is used. Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain.
Here's some advice from Dr. Michael Rich, Founder and Director of The Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston during an online “ask the experts”. The first two years of life offer a unique window of development during which the brain triples in volume, building neural networks in response to demands on the brain, while pruning away unused neural networks. We know that three types of stimuli optimize what happens in brain development: interacting with others, manipulating the physical environment, and engaging in open-ended, creative play.Think of your child's brain as a muscle that gets stronger with exercise and atrophies with passivity.
When I married my husband, I moved into his house and he had a monster for a television. It was in the family room and after our son was born the family room was where we spent the majority of our time. When my son was less than a year old, that television broke down as it was over 10 years old and pretty ugly in my opinion. I envisioned a flat screen that we could mount on the wall well away from baby hands and eyes with maybe a nice piece of furniture underneath to hide the dvd player and other equipment.
My husband had other ideas. He was on the computer calculating the amount of feet our couch was sitting from the wall and what size the screen needed to be for the amount of resolution he wanted. I knew then and there, I was in trouble. I could see it in his eyes as he started doing research. He decided that based on the formula, we needed a 68” television screen. I think it was the largest screen in the store when we went shopping.Continued on the next page