As if we didn't feel guilty enough already, Time has to bitchslap parents with a header like this. The article isn't much better, what with all the facts and warnings and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. Normally I'm a fan of all 3 of these things but let's get real. Until a doctor comes over to my house and physically turns off the set, my son is going to watch some Blue's Clues. Hell, he will watch it DAILY. That 28 minutes of uninterrupted laundry/dishes/email time is all that stands between me and rabid insanity some days. My entire childhood was spent in front of the tube. It was on from the moment I woke up until long after I went to bed. I ate every meal in front of it, did homework with it blaring in the background. And yet my parents were super-involved in my life. I was an avid reader. My standardized test scores were positively bragworthy. I might know less about the cosmos than a 1st grader but I blame that on my love of note passing, not The Cosby Show. Intellectually I understand that moderate television viewing - even before age 2! - will not make my son's brain ooze out his nose. So why do I feel all Bad Parent when Owen climbs up on the couch to manhandle the remote?
I understand that they have to go Red Alert about this stuff because some parents park their kids in front of the set for hours but come the frak on. It's like the cold medicine thing - a couple of horrible daycare workers dosed their charges with Benedryl to make them take naps (yes, really) and now nobody can give their kid a decongestant. Choosing to exclude television in your household is one thing. I'm totally in support of parents who find other ways to recharge! It's the INSISTENCE, the GUILTING, of these articles that sticks in my craw. 30 minutes of quality educational programming will not ruin a child. It just won't.
I can't be the only person of this generation who watched their weight in TV growing up. Do you feel scarred by it? How do you handle it with your own kid?