Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our approach to TV watching

Aside from occasional exposure to small home video clips once in awhile, Tristan was not allowed to watch any TV or movies for two years. It wasn't that hard since we don't own a TV and I wasn't a big youtube user. We read many articles on how TV wasn't good for babies and that they shouldn't watch any until they are at least 2 years old. Interacting with toys are much better for baby development. We are definitely not short on toys and interaction gadgets and we read a lot to him. Also, when I say TV, I mean dvd shows and movies, youtube clips etc. In terms of cable TV, we haven't had that for 10 years and probably won't ever get it. If Tristan ever watches cable TV, it would probably be from a friend's house but our feeling is that he would hate the commercials :)

Yes, we consider ourselves strict parents but I'm no "Chinese Mother" either. After Tristan turned 2, we were less strict on him. It wasn't just TV watching, it was also what he could eat etc. We first started him off on small youtube clips such as a music video of Frosty the Snowman. We watched youtube videos for 5 minutes maybe once or twice a week. Then one night, we brought out Toy Story and we watched half of it together on our computer. I observed his reaction to it and it was so weird. He was in passive mode and he didn't even move or blink for awhile. The weekend before Christmas, we watched The Polar Express with him from start to end. He only shifted his position once. Every time he watched something, either a youtube clip or a movie, at least one of us would be watching it with him.

For our next family movie night, we will likely watch Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who. It's hard to find animation movies that are suitable for a 25 month old. Even Finding Nemo has scary scenes! Maybe we will watch that this coming weekend or the next. We don't watch movies regularly nor do we plan to. If we feel like it, we will. If for some reason, Tristan misbehaves more one day, we won't.

Our approach to TV viewing seems to be working for us. Tristan doesn't ask to watch TV. When it's over, he doesn't ask for more. When he sees animation of any sort though, he is drawn to it out of curiosity. It ends up being the distraction from whatever he is doing. He is quite easily distracted too.


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