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I just read an article that stated that the French government has banned television programs made for children under the age of 3.  I get it, I understand what they’re saying but…man…folks need to calm down about this TV stuff.  Why is television always the bad guy? 

Maybe I’ll get some flack for saying so but my Little One has always been allowed to watch Noggin and PBS Sprout and those other “educational” stations.  I draw the line at channels that show commercials, but it’s my personal opinion that a little Dora never hurt anyone.  Apparently a lot of people think it does.  These are the reasons for the ban, according to some kind of expert on something:

“Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.”

I have to disagree.  Maybe excessive television viewing can do those things, but parents who use the TV as a babysitter are just going to find some other way to neglect their kids.  I guarantee it.  Those kind of blanket statements dont take into account kids like mine who spend 2/3 of their time outside running around and interacting with people but once in a while sit down for a movie or some Playhouse Disney.  I can’t even tell you all the things she has learned from those shows, words I wouldn’t have thought to use around her, the difference between a puma and a lion, shapes, colors, songs.  She knows the alphabet and her colors and how to count to 15.  Now, I might have taught her those things eventually but, to be honest, I wasn’t even aware that she had the ability to remember that kind of information yet.  I probably would have waited a year to start working on it.  But she surprised me, and her little cartoony friends helped.  So how can that be bad?  Just because some mom somewhere, who would rather be doing anything but spending time with her own little one, plops a kid in front of the tube and goes about her business…as far as I’m concerned that’s a completely different thing.  It sucks that the rest of us – meaning anyone at all who doesn’t stick up their nose and cry “I don’t even own a television” but who uses it sparingly and responsibly and not as a substitute for proper parenting – get lumped into that group.

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