A popular parenting argument these days is over whether or not to allow your child to watch TV, or how much TV-watching is acceptable. The American Academy of Pediatrics has condemned TV for the under-two set as the Great Satan. Clearly none those people have ever tried to go to the bathroom while a small human tries to climb in their lap and / or unravel the entire toilet paper roll.
My husband and I don’t argue over whether TV is okay or not. We’re on board with TV. We agree that excessive TV is bad. But we also realize that an occasional marathon won’t cause brain damage, so we are pretty liberal about letting Alex watch TV as long as it’s educational. We stick with Nick Jr.
We also read her about 100 books a day and she gets outside for daily exercise. She’s well rounded. We’re not worried.
Our disagreement is about whether standing too close to the TV will hurt your eyes. Or at least that’s the initial argument Steve presented, but I think it’s an old wives tale. Regardless, Steve really doesn’t like to see Alex watching TV like this:
She tends to hang off the credenza and stare upwards at the screen. Steve would rather Alex watch TV like civilized folks: from a respectable distance and sitting on the couch. So I’m not sure that this qualifies as a “sh*t the hubby says” but I’m the opposition and this is my forum, so there.
My feeling is that if she’s going to get a little exercise in front of the tube by building her “hanging off things” muscles, and getting her calves a workout as she strains on her tiptoes to get as close as humanly possible to the screen, then I think she’s better off than if she were sedentary while she watched.
Did you know there is something called sedentary death syndrome (SeDS)? SeDS is the result of physical inactivity. According to theNIH:
“SeDS is a major public health burden due to its causing multiple chronic diseases and millions of premature deaths each year.”
In essence, I am adding years to our daughter’s life by allowing her to watch TV while she stands right in front of the set. Am I right? Eh? Eh? Oh wait, don’t answer that.