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Television vs Childhood

smcternan December 5th, 2011, 1:24 PM
Sandra McTernan, MSN, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
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Interesting isn’t it that today’s children (the under three year old set) are already watching two or more hours of television or electronics play (this includes computer screen time) everyday.

Where is all this sit-down time coming from because it is taking a toll on the opportunity for normal language exchange between parent and child and the creative play that comes from mimicking what Mom or Dad is doing. I still remember the first time my now-18 year old daughter was two years old and picked up her play plastic phone, and started chatting away… just like me. Wow, she had mannerisms and gestures down and this is all from observing me at that very young age!! So when you turn on the TV and watch something that may not be appropriate for young children — guess what — they are watching and absorbing it ALL. There is no benefit for kids under three to watch hours of television, and there is no substitute for “Mommy/Daddy and me” time. They learn so much from you, and the drone of your TV or computer is robbing it from them.  Here is a inexpensive suggestion; pick up a book and READ to your kids. If you have no young children’s books, pick up a newspaper and read a “feel good” story. Put some inflection and feeling into your voice and have some FUN.

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