Can TV be good for toddlers? I really hope so!

I was looking through the archives today and came across one of my first blog posts all about toddlers and babies watching too much tv. And while I was reading this blog entry, I looked up and saw my now 3 year old Amelia and 18 month old Nate, standing zombie like, side by side, in front of our tv. So I snapped a quick picture of my two little addicts. What you can’t see is that Amelia is wearing a Dora tshirt and Nate a Jake one. I think our family is singlehandedly keeping Disney in business!

And heres the original post

Earlier this morning, my 2-year-old Amelia was happily playing in our playroom with her little 10 month old brother Nate. Now that Nate is crawling he’s become a whole lot more interesting for Amelia and she love’s crawling around the floor with him. I love watching them together, seeing them grow closer day by day. Their bond is already so strong. Anyhow I digress, back to their game this morning. Let’s call it ‘Oh No, I have a problem!’

The basic premise is that Amelia would dramatically fall to the floor or give Nate a little shove till he tumbled and then she would pick up her Dora telephone and call Fireman Sam to come rescue them. On occasion, she obviously wanted to give Fireman Sam a break and she would shout for ‘Oh Toodles!’ Nate found the whole game highly entertaining and squealed with delight every time she dived to the floor.

Yesterday Amelia asked could she play in the garden and requested a bowl of water. It was sunny so I agreed, wondering what she had planned. She took her shoes and socks off, poured the water on patio, then jumped into her newly created puddle screaming, ‘I love puddles!’ Thank you Peppa Pig for teaching Amelia this particular trick!

So today I’ve been pondering the fact that Disney Junior and Nick Junior have a big influence on my toddlers playtime and imagination. And as all Mothers do, have wondered for the 1000th time am I doing anything wrong by letting Amelia watch TV?

A recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is that kids 2 and older watch no more than one to two hours daily. The AAP also recommends that kids under 2 watch no television at all.

Oops, one out of two ain’t bad is it? Amelia in the main only watches 1 – 2 hours per day. 1 hour in the morning and another hour before bedtime. Good Mummy. But it all goes pear-shaped after that. Nate basically is wherever Amelia and I are, so he’s watching TV whenever Amelia is. And if I’m honest, already he’s hooked…. his eyes immediately dart to the screen when he hears Hot Diggity Dog.

So what’s the damage then? I’m afraid to check. Apparently too much TV can hamper brain development. That’s not good. It’s also linked to obesity in children. That’s not much better. My children’s health and welfare is always of paramount importance to Mr H and I.

I know in an ideal world neither Amelia or Nate would watch television. But when I was pregnant with Nate, particularly in the last trimester, Disney Junior saved my life! I had chronic SPD and wobbled around on crutches, so having a 20 month old to look after on crutches was near impossible while Mr H was in work. As Mary Poppins and Nanny Mc Phee were both busy I called upon the main man himself for help. Yes, you guessed correctly, when I say the main man I mean Mickey Mouse. Legend that he is, always smiling, always singing, always dancing and for good measure always teaching his little mousketeers something new in every episode. Never mind Amelia, I learnt a lot during the Mickey Mouse hours. Oh boy!

I’ve realised that when Amelia loves a character, she wants to play along in whatever games they set her. She is immediately engaged and wants to answer all their questions. And that’s why I love Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Jake and the Neverland Pirates as they are all educational. While I love teaching Amelia her ABCD’s and 123’s, I appreciate the help I’m getting from her TV friends.

I’m liking Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam less, so far they have only planted naughty ideas in Amelia’s head. But if jumping in puddles is the worst she learns from it, well that’s not too bad. And seeing her laugh out loud while she watches the antics of Peppa and Norman is worth the odd wet socks and shoes!

So for me, upon reflection, I don’t think TV is that bad. As long as we monitor what our children watch and only allow age appropriate, educational and fun programmes. I think our children’s brain development is safe enough. As for my little rock star Nate, buddy I’m gonna have to cut down your TV! Amelia never watched any TV till she was 20 months old. I’ve been a bit negligent here. So I think one solution for me is to have Amelia’s TV time when Nate is having his morning and afternoon nap. Until Nate is nearer to 2.

Now, enough from me, it’s time for Mummy’s TV fix now. Sky Plus here I come……..

Thought’s friends? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.


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