Monday, January 25, 2010

Wee See

Brinton and I don’t own a TV. It’s not that we’re totally anti-television or anything. A few years ago we cancelled our cable because our service was always out, no matter what the cable guys did to fix it. Our old TV set sat in a corner collecting dust until we finally gave it away. In the meantime, my husband set up a projector hooked to our computer and a screen on the wall in our living room so we could watch movies and seasons of Lost on Netflix.

Now that Baby L. is here we talk a lot about whether or not we’ll ever get a TV again. Who knows?

The jury is still out on the actual effects of watching television. Many adamantly argue that too much TV “rots your brain,” and a common belief holds that too much television makes kids behave violently. Studies have shown that exposure to video games and television actually can also make kids fearful of violence. The fast paced nature of most programming, which consists of sound bytes, also can make it difficult for kids to really focus or study something in detail.

On the other hand, others point to the potential benefits of educational programming, like Sesame Street, which support language and vocabulary development, as well as general background knowledge on a wide variety of topics that a child would not otherwise encounter. There’s also an argument in favor of media-literacy that maintains that children learn to navigate different kinds of programming quite easily and can learn to discriminate between fact, fiction, and everything in between with a little help from adults.

I will say this – At three months old, L. is FASCINATED by television on the rare occasions that she actually has seen it. She’s mesmerized by the bright colors and sounds. And when she’s upset, it seems like it’s as good as a binky (which we don’t happen to use, but that’s another topic). But call me overprotective. I feel guilty hanging out in front of the boob tube with my infant daughter. Is it rotting her brain? Probably not. Are there better things I can think of doing? Absolutely.

wee see - collection one from Rolyn Barthelman on Vimeo.

Here’s some baby TV I can feel good about: Wee See. Just try it. You’ll see. The delicate sounds and gentle movements are just the thing maintaining a calming feeling throughout the house, even with the TV on. The black and white designs are right up Baby L.'s alley, and the slow movements and basic shapes are great for encouraging her to carefully examine and study what she’s seeing, rather than typical TV, which is basically designed to shorten your kid’s attention span. The DVDs even have a still life option, so that you can decide when you want introduce movement.

Happy television watching!

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