Years ago I read Four Arguments for the Elimination of TV by Jerry Mander and then immediately went and bought ten copies to give away. Mander eloquently gave voice to my existing niggling concerns about television watching and I have vigilantly monitored my own and Bella’s TV watching ever since. (We don’t have cable – but we all pick shows that we want to watch during the week and find ways to watch only those specific shows – usually with minimal or no commercials.)
And now I read in Nov-Dec 08 Mothering Magazine (great magazine – nice gift for a new mom), that France is so convinced of the negative effects of television watching that they are actually banning TV shows with a target viewing audience younger than three years old. YES!
According to the High Audiovisual Council: “Television viewing hurts the development if children under three year old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, overexcitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.” These detrimental effects are the same that Mander pointed out over thirty years ago.
And I didn’t know this, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a similar view and recommends that children younger than two years should not watch television.
If you want more information, you can check out www.turnoffyourtv.com. They have a funny banner that reads, “Do you like reality TV? Then GO OUTSIDE!”