Wednesday, July 06, 2005

TV fries their brains

Well, yeah, I know the headline above is so wrong but I honestly believe TV watching damages developing brains in other more insidious ways.

What prompted my ramblings today was news of some cool studies in the latest Archive of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (2005). They've published a trio of intriguing studies, each concluding in a different way how TV is associated detrimentally with an educational outcome. The studies still do not determine why this is (not there yet, probably the next set will) though the authors do speculate why there is such a negative association with TV viewing or even the presence of a TV (in one the bedroom).

Studies aside, we had decided, for the most part, to be a non TV watching household. It wasn't always the case; in the early years, our infant/toddler probably watched way too many hours of Tubbies each week. And it was very difficult to do without. For me. No more instant babysitter while I made dinner or phone calls.

Today, I wonder how kids have time for TV watching since there is so little down time. TV time would cut into the measly little time left over for play, reading, and homework.And our child is most definitely not over-scheduled (one regular physical activity and guitar lessons).

We don't know if that's why our soon-to-be second grader easily reads fourth grade level books. I do know I'm glad the child today revels in unstructured time for play. I don't need to supervise or provide activities or games.

On the other hand, in our household, the issue noir is computer use or rather mom's computer use. As a result, I haven't been online as much (can you tell?).

I propose that the next set of studies should be about computer use: does blogging fry your brain and destroy social skills?

Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
NZ Study: Association of Educational Attainment with TV viewing