It’s a dirty, little secret for most moms (and we salute you if it’s not one of yours). The ultimate ‘can’t live with it/can’t live without it’ thing in our lives, and it’s not that glass of wine (although that could qualify as well). It’s the TV we’re talking about. But sometimes we just need a break and that’s when plopping them down in front of the TV is just oh-so-tempting.
But since we discovered two essential guides to watching TV and movies with your kids, we’re feeling a little less guilty these days. No matter what, the TV isn’t going anywhere and kids are bound to end up watching it—knowing now that there are right ways and wrong ways to watch TV, and that in fact it can be a positive influence if used correctly, definitely helps.
The Elephant in the Living Room – Making Television Work for Your Kids by Drs. Dimitri Christakis and Frederick Zimmerman, experts in television and child development (thank goodness someone is!), offers an insightful and balanced read on how TV can hurt and how it can help.
The good news? Children’s educational shows (and don’t worry—they even provide an appendix that tells us which ones qualify), they say, have the proven ability to help children learn to read, to be kind and to share. The bad news? Too much TV, or the wrong kind of TV, can indeed have lasting and damaging effects such as impaired language development, hyperactivity, aggression and obesity.