Thursday, January 03, 2008

Today's Post is Brought to You By the Letter "R"and the Number "10"

I have been babysitting a really smart 2 year old for the past two days. He fits into the trend of smart babies who don't watch a whole lot of TV. Today, at lunch, he said "Walt Whitman".

First, you have to remember why Walt Whitman is famous. Poet? Writer? Philosopher? I googled it. The little boy was pointing to a painting in the dining room of this guy:

Second, I have been wondering all day: How bad is TV really? For me, it's background noise that I tune out. But I don't have kids. I know all of the reasons for why our kids need to watch less TV. But I wonder if I would fall into the lazy/sinful parent category of letting my kid watch a whole lot of Noggin/Nick Jr./PBS. Because it does give me, the adult, a chance to breathe instead of trying to keep said kid from playing with electric sockets. If you add books, blocks, and outside time, couldn't TV get some respect? It could be, I admit, a glorified babysitter. But even when I am watching a child who is watching Sesame Street, I am still watching the child, right? (This is where it becomes obvious that I am writing from the point of view of the babysitter who gets to go home, and not from the point of view of the parent.)

If I can get a child to dance or jump, while watching TV, am I not mixing the best of both worlds?? (Come on, I cannot be the only one who thinks it's totally cool for little kids to be entertained on cold days by the magic of television.) (BTW: This video is for the funkiest kid's show I've ever seen in my life, featuring Elijah Wood! It feels like what my future color-blind-progressive-indie-rainbow-colored child would watch and enjoy!)

note: I feel it very prudent to note that I have never babysat for any kids whose parents were anti-TV. Some parents just embrace TV more than others.

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