Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Let My 3-Month-Old Watch TV

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And you know what? Sure, I get that. Babies learn by interacting with adults, not by sitting and staring at a screen. But my son gets endless amounts of attention and adult interaction throughout his day. We’re lucky enough to have his grandma watching him while we’re at work, and she is virtually peerless when it comes to baby-raising skills. He gets all the toys, play, and adult conversation he can handle… plus the odd snippet of “NCIS” here and there.

It’s the same story at home. My husband and I talk to him, read him books, and provide him with plenty of toys for both solo and assisted playtime. We’re also trying to familiarize him with some basic sign language, so he can start communicating with us even before his tongue control catches up with his brain. The kid is virtually showered with stimulation. And yes, some of that stimulation includes the U.S. Open finals playing in the background while my husband and I catch up on our respective days.

I don’t think it’s so bad that my infant son occasionally glances at the TV and is transfixed by the colorful, moving images he can’t understand. Maybe he’s not learning anything while he’s doing it, but what’s wrong with a few minutes of downtime? What’s so bad about staring at something interesting and trying to figure out how it fits into this big, new world you’re learning about?

Now, it might be different when we have our second baby, and we no longer have the time, energy, or inclination to interact with our children at all. I was born second, myself, so I know how these things go. So, yeah, fair enough — our next baby might have to learn the English language via reruns of “Laverne & Shirley.”

In the meantime, though, I refuse to believe the very presence of the TV in our home is going to stunt my son’s intellectual growth. After all, it’s not like I’m one of those moms that takes my kid out to a restaurant, slaps an iPad in his hands, and calls it a day. Now, that shit is messed UP.

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(photo:  texasgurl)

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