Media and the Young Child

Last month I blogged about the effects of television on young readers.  Since that time I’ve been turning off the television a lot more.  No longer does “Sesame Street” have a place in our dinner preparation routine.  Instead the television is turned off.  Most mornings, I have stretched without “The Today Show” going since Isabelle is always hanging out alongside me.  It’s quieter when the TV is off, but that allows me to attend to her more.  In that time I’ve noticed her receptive language skills have gotten even stronger.  She follows more two-step commands.  Her responses to my questions are often accurate (e.g., “Do you want to go downstairs to eat breakfast?” gets a true “yes.”), which makes life easier.  Could this be because she’s watching even less television than she was three weeks ago.  Maybe.  Maybe not. It’s too early to tell or to surmise about what’s really working.

We’re still talking about media in my daughter’s class.  This week my daughter’s teacher shared a video with us that discusses more of the reasons children should be kept away from television.  While it doesn’t focus on the effects of TV on reading, it is a fascinating video that will definitely make you question how much television your child(ren) should be watching daily.

I’d love to know what you think about this. Please share your thoughts about this video by leaving a comment on this post.

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About Stacey Shubitz

Literacy Consultant. Co-author of Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice (Stenhouse, 2010). Blogs at Two Writing Teachers & Raising a Literate Human.

4 responses to “Media and the Young Child”

  1. Linda Baie (@LBaie) says :

    Hi Stacey, I finally found time to watch this video thoughtfully. It’s so important that many learn about the effect of tv on children. As a middle school teacher, I saw things change quite a lot through the years as students became even more sarcastic (mimicking the sitcoms) , or they spent so much time on video games that their work suffered & it became a serious conversation with them and with their parents. Parents were reluctant to pull the plug on the computers or tv’s, saying that it was already such a habit, that they didn’t want the kids to be angry, etc.
    Anyway, I just kept Ingrid & Imogene (3 & 1) this past weekend, & we played so many silly games, read lots of books, got out the couch cushions & built a house we could crawl in to, etc. When my children were growing up, we kept the (portable) tv in the closet. As they grew, they could ask to see something, especially if a teacher gave them an assignment, but before that, no tv. My daughter laughs & says that she is left out of conversations sometimes with peers who talk about old sitcoms. She doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I think it’s even different today because of the extra tech out there, which I love, BTW, but still, to miss all the fun things we can do without the tv makes me sad. Thanks for sharing this, & your thoughts.

    • Stacey Shubitz says :

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for sharing your own experiences. Your comment is giving me an idea for a writing-related post over at TWT.

      I don’t watch much non-news TV, which leaves me disconnected from some convos about “American Idol,” for instance. I’ve learned to accept that it is what it is. I cannot imagine giving up the two hours I have free after Izzy goes to sleep to watch TV I don’t enjoy just so I can keep up with others.

  2. wakeupandwrite says :

    While this is a conversation I often hear among thoughtful educators and those who work directly with children and families it seems it is only taken to the next step in private schools. What I mean by this is that these schools create real forums to educate parents about the effects of screen time and brain development and support for parents to take a position.
    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at public schools but I hardly ever hear about it.
    And then I am left with this bitter taste of the fact that only the elite and those able to afford private school education receive the benefit of this type of intervention. That is another story.

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  1. The Benefits of Less TV Time | Raising a Literate Human - April 21, 2013

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