So far I have not used the TV to pacify my 7 month old child. But I can already tell that he is WAY more interested in television than I am comfortable with.
During the day I often have the TV on in the background. While folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, dusting, etc. I listen to The Today Show or Rachael Ray. I don’t sit and watch TV for hours on end, but it is on a good portion of the day. I have noticed that since he was about 4 months old, Eli has been very drawn to the moving images on the television. I am sure he has no idea what he is watching, but it is only a matter of time until he does, right? I think I am going to have to leave the TV off more often, and that will be a good thing for both of us.
I guess the sad truth is that I enjoy watching television. And turning it off will be difficult for me, but I want to influence Eli in a direction of not depending on the TV for entertainment, so it is something that must be done! I want him to play with toys, play outside, be creative, pretend, and be active. All things that are better achieved without the distraction of the television.
As he gets older, I want him to view television as a treat. We may have some shows that we enjoy watching as a family. Maybe we will have a weekly movie night. I know there are plenty of educational children’s television shows out there, but aren’t there other ways for our children to learn the same things?
I am not saying that I will never use Elmo, Little Einsteins, or The Wiggles to entertain my children once in a while. I am sure there are moments in every Mommy’s life when the television is almost a necessity.