For so many of us the first thing we do when we get home is turn on the TV and that may not be the best thing for our children. Nancy Naeve Brown has more from a family life educator on the effects the tube has on your toddler's development.
Greta Stewart's favorite part of the day is play time with her toddler son Aiden. The television behind them in the living room is off and all of her attention is focused on her little boy.
Greta says, "Generally we don't like to have the TV on especially when he's awake. He goes to bed pretty early so it's a rule for us that after bed time then we watch what we want to watch."
Avera McKennan Family Life Educators say this first time mom is doing everything right. The experts recommend no TV for children 2 and under.
Certified Family Life Educator Betty Barto Smith with Avera McKennan says, "One of the biggest concerns with that age (under 3) is the important brain development that's going on at that time. If they have too much time with a flat screen that is time not spent with real world."
Their depth perception and vision are developing plus it is way more fun for them to play with a real ball rather than just seeing a ball on a screen.
Barto Smith says, "When kids are sitting in front of the TV they tend to be really quiet. Most of the time parents like when their kids are quiet, but it's important that kids have the option to be boisterous and to be loud and interact and all those kinds of things. It's good social skills to have."
Barto Smith says children respond better and learn faster with experience and interaction. Something you don't get by staring at a TV screen.
Greta says, "He would much rather be playing with his blocks or Legos or riding his toys. He's much more interested in that than TV."
And you can have a ball without ever reaching for the remote!
Barto Smith says some TV is okay but it should be by appointment only. Choose a show that is family friendly and watch it, don't channel surf. Also know that there is typically very little interaction between the family members while the show is on. Barto Smith also recommends not having TV's in your children's bedrooms especially tweens and teens because you can't monitor what they're watching to see if it's age appropriate.