Wednesday, June 6, 2007

*Please note, this entry will be of absolutely no interest to those who don't have kids.

There were many comments (MANY COMMENTS! MANY COMMENTS!) addressing the peanut butter thing on yesterday's post. Apparently consuming pb while pregnant may contribute to peanut allergies in your kid, which seems counter-intuitive to me. Shouldn't the stuff the mom eats make the kid less sensitive to it later in life? Like, "If it's okay for mom, it's okay for me"? But what do I know. Still, I have strong doubts that peanut consumption is causing sudden allergy increase. (I do have other theories... By the way, the official ruling is now no peanut butter until three. THREE. Weren't we all raised on the stuff?!)

There's an interesting article in this week's NY Mag about television's effects on young'uns. (FYI: I used to be a huge fan of Amy Sohn until she got married and had a kid. Now I find her unsufferable. If I become unsufferable, please let me know.) I spend a significant portion of my day with a 3-year-old (who's allergic to peanuts, speaking of) and he is not allowed to watch TV. At first I thought it was crazy - after all, I was practically reared by the electric box - but now it doesn't even enter my mind to turn it on. I have to say, the few times I have caught it, it seems different. Faster. More character (ahem, Elmo, ahem) driven than educational. I'm not sure I like. My love of television is well-documented (Top Chef starts July 13) so let's not even pretend that I'll be uber-mommy, but maybe Netflix has the old 70's Sesamie Street and Electric Company episodes? Has raising kids always been this rigid?


Doyce said...

Absolute goldmine children's shows:

The Big Big World

(Ali, netflix the Big Big World's "Investigate your World" -- the main character is a big hippie sloth that does Tai Chi -- it's five deadly venoms of awesome.

Baby Einstein from age 0 on up
Little Einstein (at about 18 months on up -- Kaylee LOVES this show -- riveted, ever time)

Kaylee is forcing me to write down Teletubbies,and for her age bracket, I'd actually agree. It's kinda great for those just learning vocabulary.

God help me, but Barney is actually pretty cool -- the live children are easily the worst part, but the songs are cool.

Finally, I am a huge fan of my local PBS shows -- especially Clifford the Big Red Dog. Kaylee loves that big galoot, and John Ritter's voice is dead on... I mean... excellent.

I have very, very little use for the current version of Sesame Street. Your observations are entirely correct.

And yes, you can get stuff like the classic Electric company on DVD.

Ali said...

My problem with Baby Einstein is that the woman is a huge Republican supporter. (Which is why Bush honored her a few months ago.) I have trouble adding to her - and therefore Bush's - coffers...

ktbuffy said...

Nix the Teletubbies and Barney, but add The Wiggles and Dora to your list of passable tv shows for kids. When Kaylee comes with Doyce to NYC, I usually DVR a bunch of stuff for her, and The Wiggles top the list, along with Little Einstein now.

Man, those songs are catchy!!

"Use your hands for turning, turning, turning, turning, clapping, clapping, UP down!"

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Over here in Hatchet land we don't own a television. I've found this to work out wonderfully when it comes to Caitlin and the "I wants!" that seem to come whenever you're in a store with small kids.

That being said, we do watch movies and she did really like the Baby Einstein videos. The fact that it's Republican owned? Seriously unfortunate.

My big issue with TV is that it's become a giant sales tool in order to get to kids. Read the book The Real Toy Story to find out about massive money being spent on direct marketing to children via shows which exist only to push the toys. I also have noticed, in my crazy feminist way, the ways in which the shows and commercials are slanted specifically for boys or girls. The constant reinforcement of the social "norms" starts early. Little girls aren't shown playing with trucks. Pink and purple predominate the commercials geared for girls, etc.

And the attitude the kids display towards their peers and parents?! Even if they are the "bad" kid on the show, my kid is going to try out that behavior.

No thanks!

However, most of these are problems with older kids. Prior to two? Not sure how much sticks, except the brand identification stuff. Give it a whirl. All else fails, you can turn it off.

Missy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy said...

Yeah...all the information about the "best" way to raise these little munchkins can make you crazy.

We have pretty strict rules about TV here at our house. My tiny honeys get one hour of time each day that they can use for TV and or computer games. How they spend the time is up to them. Until recently we only had basic cable which meant the only channel that had appropriate material was PBS. We recently added some cable so they have Nickelodeon and Disney that they can watch. I was really concerned that they would start asking to watch TV all the time once we added more cable, but they are used to the TV rules and really don't ask to watch more. Some days they forgo TV altogether and use the entire hour for computer time. The best TV reducer we have come up with is moving it to the attic, the out of sight out of mind thing really works.
There is a lot of evidence available showing the benefits of restricting kids TV viewing. I can only speak from personal experience and say that I feel limited TV viewing has helped our kids learn to be able to entertain themselves, both are tremendous readers, their performance at school is amazing, they have incredible imaginations that they put to good use on a daily basis, and rarely go around asking for crap they have seen on TV. I try not to be too preachy or pushy with others regarding my beliefs about TV viewing in children, but in my opinion it is something doled out sparingly. Especially to young children. They need to play. However at the end of the day you gotta do what works best for you and your wee one. Most parents (myself included) have had days now and then where the TV reigned queen for the day due to exhaustion, illness and other assorted life crap.

OK I am going to stop before I hop over to my even longer winded soap box regarding the importance of play for young kiddoes.

Great blogging you have going here.

I could talk about this stuff for days.