Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baby frankenstein?

Okay, so maybe that’s just a little melodramatic, but still... check out the manic, glazed look in the eyes of those animals. And if that's not enough, then this is just a little scary. Jim emailed me the article yesterday.

Back in April 2004, when Jimmy was just over a year old, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study on the link between young children watching television and later developing attention deficit. The study prompted a flurry of news articles and I remember one of the main points being that the nature of children’s programming, with its frequent, even abrupt, scene transitions, changed the way that young brains were hardwired, creating a shorter attention span and a need for greater stimulation.

Jim and I decided then to limit Jimmy’s television exposure as much as possible, including videos. In particular, we eschewed such popular kids’ videos as the Baby Einstein series, even though on the surface they seemed designed to increase intelligence. I don’t know if it’s a direct result of this, but Jimmy doesn’t have much interest in watching television or movies now (with the exception of Blue’s Clues, which he’d watch from dawn ‘til dusk if I let him). On the other hand, he’s reading at age four, has a prodigious vocabulary, and enjoys himself for extended periods of time doing imaginative play activities.

At the risk of sounding smug (which I know I will), it’s interesting to see that this early decision we made is being borne out.

1 comment:

aubrey said...

i think this is a fabulous thing. we've just recently cut tv out entirely. movies and shows and all. she's not reading or anything, but can do imaginative play for hours at a time and is much more calm and obedient than when she was watching tv more frequently.