Thursday, August 28, 2008

The end of education TV??

Don't worry...I'm not announcing the end of it all together. I know many moms rely on educational TV to stimulate their little one's brain, while providing a bit of respite for mom.

Bean does little for himself--but one of his few indulgences is digital cable (he's a sports fanatic ) and this benefits the family because we have Sprout, which is PBS for preschoolers and Noggin, Nickelodeon for preschoolers.

I grew up watching very little TV. We didn't even own one until I was 9 and until my teen years, viewing was very limited. I don't even think I watched the Muppets or Sesame Street. (My youngest sister who is 10 years behind me, did watch all that stuff though) Before I had children, I intended to keep TV viewing at a minimum. I wanted my children to have an imagination and make up games and stories.

Fast forward to real life and a firstborn who requires much entertainment! I watched my niece full-time during Miss Rose's 1st year, so she had an almost constant playmate in her cousin and in me. Baby Einstein was often the only way I could take a shower without worrying about Miss Rose while she was an infant.

By the time she was 1, Disney shows for young ones were a regular in our home. We have never left children's programming on all day long--but I will say Miss Rose watched more of it than I ever expected or intended. But I loved the lessons taught on the Berenstein Bears and the instruments she learned about on Little Einsteins. I didn't feel too much guilt!

So now Miss Rose is quickly approaching 5 years old and I often think her intelligence (although not her maturity) is a few years beyond that. Lately she's been refusing the "preschool programming" in favor of Jon and Kate plus 8 (her new fave show) or other "older" kid shows.

I'm not ready though to venture into the grown up kid world. There are topcis and vocabulary on most of those shows I'm not interested in her viewing. I still want to protect her from what I deem as unacceptable for our home.

I know it's inevitable though. The transition has begun. I can't protect her too much and I need to take advantage of the teaching opportunties we may find. Come January she will hopefully be in a pre-K program in a public school and next September it's kindergarten. She has to be ready. Most kids her age are watching far more mature programming.

I will not be throwing caution to the wind. I'll still be offering the educational TV and learning what more mature shows are appropriate for her. And I suspect that as her schooling begins, TV time will be even more limited--which will work in my favor too!

They just grow up too fast.

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