Raising My Twins

It's what's on my mind.

More on Television and Toddlers

Girls watching Elmo.

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about a fascinating “Ted Talk” that she found on one of my favorite blogs of all time, Aha! Parenting. She was happy to hear that slow-paced, educational television, such as Mr. Rogers, doesn’t seem to have the adverse effects on children’s health as other, “entertainment” television aimed at children. This is good news for those who have felt that small doses of Sesame Street, for instance, while maybe not exactly beneficial, are not harmful either. In other words, it’s good news for me.

This research also illustrates exactly why I am against my children seeing anything but Sesame Street, although I’d definitely allow Mr. Rogers if it was still on. I used to love that show too.

The summary is that frenetic TV, (think cartoons targeted to slightly older kids, like SpongeBob) causes attention problems, whereas “educational programs like Mr. Rogers posed no increased risk of attentional problems.” Here is a direct link to the 16-minute talk by Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. I highly recommend it.

“Media is very much a part of our lives.  The real research agenda is to find out how to use it in healthy ways.” ~ Dr. Dimitri Christakis