So......yesterday, Oprah had a special on neglected children. As I shuttled my children upstairs to watch a video, I pondered the irony.
Yep, my kids watch TV. They probably watch more than some kids, but still less than others. I suppose on some level I am supposed to feel guilty and I can guarantee there is at least one person reading this judging away (Hi!! I see you!!)
TV is just one part of our day, a day that easily stretches to 12+ hours a day since Arun does not nap most days now. As such, I read this article on CNN with amusement. It is about a study that shows TV does not necessarily harm nor benefit children:
In the Harvard study, two I.Q.-related tests were administered to the children: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III, which indicates how many words the child understands and uses, and the Wide-Range Assessment of Visual Motor Ability test, which presents puzzles and peg boards to test cognitive abilities.
Babies who spent more time watching TV had lower language and visual motor skills at age 3. But when results were adjusted for household income and education levels, the association did not appear.
Lead author Marie Evans Schmidt and her colleagues "did not find evidence of harm or benefit of TV viewing."
Based on the existing body of research, Schmidt, a developmental psychologist instructor at Harvard Medical School, said, "there's still more evidence of harm than benefit as far as TV viewing in infancy is concerned."
Studies exploring the relationship between TV viewing and the effects on children are just beginning, she said.
"My hope is that when this information is made available to the general public, that it won't be perceived as study that means there are no harmful effects of TV viewing on infants, because other studies have shown TV viewing at high levels can put kids at risk for some things like obesity, sleep disturbances and possibly attention problems," Schmidt said.
Wait a gosh-durned minute - you mean to tell me that while TV is mere entertainment, high levels of viewing could cause problems? Geez, is that a newsflash or what?
This is currently Arun's favorite show. Apparently, I am going to hell and he is destined for public schools. Eh.