Electronic Soother

Am I turning my son’s brain into goo? Will he be a TV-addicted couch potato before he can crawl? If so, he won’t be the only one. A new study says children under two are spending as much time in front of the boob tube as on the boob, with 90 per cent of them watching 1.5 hours of TV daily. Even 40 per cent of three-month olds are regular viewers of the box.

This, I’m told, is a bad thing. Both the Canadian and American Pediatric Societies say children under two shouldn’t be watching any television. Too much TV is linked to learning problems, aggressive behaviour and difficulties paying attention later in life. Damn! But it’s so much fun, so what’s a parent to do?

We aren’t plopping Tristan down in front of the tube, but nor do we keep it off while he is on the room. It’s part of our life and I know it will be part of his. I can already see the fascination it has for him — while sitting in his chair he will squirm around to catch a glimpse of the screen or peer over my shoulder to see what is going on. The sound and motion have a considerable draw for him.

I agree that I shouldn’t be using the TV as an electronic babysitter and nor do I think that there is much value in it for him. But I don’t believe, based on no absolutely no knowledge, that these incidental viewing times will be detrimental. I am a child of TV myself and while I may not be curing diseases I figure I came out ok. A little obsessed with pop culture for sure, but none the worse for wear.


  1. And yet, there are countless studies that discuss the positive mental aspects of gaming... figure that out.

  2. Everything in moderation, as far as I'm concerned.