It is a well documented fact that Riaz and I are dirty hippies. It’s fine. I’ve accepted it and you should too. We have recently added to our dirty hippy ways by making the decision to turn the TV off whenever Aiman is awake.
It’s not that we really ever let Aiman “watch” TV before, but it was on in the background through the day and we would put Sesame Street or Curious George on in the morning to entertain him. Then … I did some reading.
I hardly ever read about the things you should or should not do to your kids. I think if you take everything you read seriously you will find yourself convinced that every bump, bruise or eaten peanut is going to send your kids to therapy or turn them into serial killers. I don’t want to wind up wrapping Aiman in bubble wrap and keeping him in a well padded room until he’s 21, so usually I don’t read the advice.
But, sometimes I break my own rules and I did do some reading about the effects of TV on little baby brains (even good TV like Sesame Street). While I doubt Sesame Street will do any lasting damage, there is at least some evidence that little brains just can’t keep up with TV and it makes it harder for them to process the real world. It’s so easy to turn off the TV – so we just did it. We aren’t crazy diligent about it though, if the TV is on at a friends house we don’t cover Aiman’s eyes and run screaming home (though I tend to want to do that when I go out nowadays anyway because having a baby has turned me into some kind of crazy hermit that hates leaving the house). Also, I sometimes have it on in the mornings on the weekends. For example, this Sunday morning I felt compelled to watch Extreme Home Makeover – I couldn’t help myself – the lure of that sappy show was too much for me to withstand – its been a rough week, I needed a good cry. I guess feel guilty now, but hopefully Aiman will recover.
Anyway, the TV has been off for about 3 weeks and you know what, we have really noticed a difference in the little guy. He was always super active and curious, but he is even activer and curiouser – the difference is hard to put into words, but it is definitely there and the next kid won’t get any TV (or at least very minimal TV) when he/she is little.
So there you have it. No TV for Aiman. Next thing you know we will be selling all of our belongings and driving through the country in an RV powered by vegetable oil and I’ll be blogging about “unschooling” and making my own soap. You have all been warned.
** This photo has no relationship to this post. He’s just adorable.