My daughter is now getting to the age where shes interested in watching cartoons. Its so surprising to me how engrossed she can get when shes watching something, I always ask my husband if she understands what shes watching or she just likes looking at the pictures. Yesterday she was watching Dora, and Dora has her side kick monkey, so I was like oh wow did you see that monkey, to which she responded, that’s not a monkey, that’s Boots. To say I was surprised is an under statement. I guess my question was answered, yes she does understand what is going on on the show.
I have always prided myself on one on one interaction with her, with limited screen time. But I must say, I now know why parents end up using the TV to baby sit, she will give me a good hour of uninterpreted time, where I am able to do all my chores and anything I need to do. I am not proud of the amount of screen time she gets, granted we still take her out to play, and she goes to daycare where she will interact with other kids with no TV available but for her age, they say she should get only 2 hours of screen time, and she definitely gets more.
The reason she is able to get more screen time, is a little gadget called an IPAD. The Ipad has become her buddy so when shes watching her shows she doesn’t interfere with our TV shows. I often wonder how would it be possible to limit her screen time when we always have the TV on, if we are in the house the TV is on, so she sees us watch it all the time and hence learns from us.
This past weekend I visited a friend of mine, who has a 11yr old. While we sat down stairs her daughter was upstairs watching movies. I came to the realization that with the cellphone, tablet technology. Kids are going to drift away from their parents earlier. It has become so easy for them to access their TV shows, video games, from anywhere.
When I was growing up there was no 24hr TV, the TV would come on at 4pm and it only had about an hour or two of cartoons. So even if we wanted to watch, their really wasn’t anything to watch.But now their is a large variety of cartoon channels, and 24hours of cartoons and kid shows. Is it really realistic to expect to limit screen time? Also all our gadgets have access to internet, youtube and games.
Watching the cartoons with my baby has taught me a lot about the changing times. Cartoons are no longer just shallow story lines with a good guy and bad guy chasing each other around through the whole episode. They now have intricate story lines, with hero’s and villain’s, with love interests and science. What is even more surprising are the commercials that come on on this kid channels. They have all this new cool toys that they convince kids they need, so now kids have gotten this long list of things they believe they need.
And then, their is fashion. My daughter was watching this Barbie cartoon, (I didn’t even know Barbie had a cartoon) where they were discussing fashion. And I am wondering why should kids care about fashion. They have even gone to the extent of having make over shows on this kids channels. Which leads me to wonder, are we raising a bunch of air heads who will have the Kardashian’s as role models and clothes as best friends.
I do wish we could hang on to the innocence and naivety for a little longer but am afraid with all the advancement of technology, it just might not be possible.