Talking about my “sick day” aka occupying myself and Timothy with a couple of Christmas movies to make up for my lack of energy to entertain Timothy, I found myself talking out of both sides of my mouth, or however that expression goes.
Overall, I am against TV. We don’t even have cable. I used to waste hours upon hours in front of TV, watching Prison Break, House, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance – and reruns of Friends, Two and a Half Men, King of Queens. Occasionally, some trashier shows like Top Model and Bachelorette. I hated them, but watched them anyway. Television is hypnotizing, it sucks you in and then next thing you know – time to go to bed.
Well, at the time that was my escape strategy, I believe. Escaping the reality that I didn’t enjoy much. Since I escaped that reality in real life and changed my life for the better, there was no need for TV any longer. I disconnected the cable and felt liberated, Free. No more hurrying home to catch an 8 pm show. No more having to waste 2 hours in a row watching something. Ahhhh, bliss.
But then I love movies. More than anything, I love watching the same feel-good movies, over and over again. You got mail. What women want. Sweet home Alabama. Love actually. Family Stone. The wedding date. Etc, etc, etc. I have three shelves worth of feel-good movies and cartoons (Monsters Inc, Despicable Me, etc.) I love, love, love watching them. And I don’t see any harm in watching a dvd once a week or so.
There are recommendations that babies under two years of age aren’t supposed to be watching TV at all. I am not sure why, but my overall feeling is that this recommendation is the same as “pregnant and nursing women should not drink alcohol”. I mean, yes – vodka shots are not advisable :), but from all the extensive reading I did on the topic, it seems like an occasional glass of red wine poses no risk (and some even say it’s good for you). And dark beer, supposedly, increases you milk production. Go figure.
My guess is that “they” don’t trust people to be able to apply moderation. To stop after that one glass of wine. To turn off TV after 30 minutes. They worry that we will turn TV into an easy way to neglect our babies for days on end.
Timothy doesn’t watch TV every day. Well, he doesn’t watch TV – he watches DVDs. Baby Einstein episodes. They are short, they were designed for babies, and they help me get some stuff around the house done on those days when Timothy doesn’t feel like playing on his own for a short little while. I don’t see any harm in that.
And on a few occasions, when I felt too tired and sick, I watched my grown-up movies (romantic comedies… nothing scary :)) and let Timothy “watch” those with me. It felt nice and companionable. I like watching movies together – I feel, for whatever reason, that this shared experience draws family members together. But only if we are actually watching stuff together, not zombyfying ourselves for lack of something else to do.
Again, I feel that screen time for Timothy is under control and do not feel worried.
What’s your take on TV for babies under two? What are your beliefs? What do you/do you not allow?