The studies they cite show that toddlers who are given clues to find hidden objects via TV are less successful at finding the objects than the children who are given the clues in person. They summarize by saying:
“So while toddlers can understand what’s going on on TV, they don’t think about what they see on TV the same way older kids and adults do. They don’t connect it back to the real things they encounter in their world, so they can’t learn from TV. Whatever it is your toddler gets from watching TV, these researchers say, it’s not learning.”
I see this phenomenon in my kids clearly. They can both watch an episode of Play with me Sesame and have very different experiences. When my 5 year-old daughter watches the program, she gets up, sings along, dances, and responds to the character’s questions. When my nearly two-year-old son watched the same program alone the other day, he sat mesmerized by the 20-minute program – the lights, the colors, the sounds, but he clearly didn’t appreciate the humor and didn’t understand when to sing and dance with the monstery muppets. When the two of them watch together, I used to think that my son mimicked the program, but now I’m realizing that he was modeling his response after his sister.
So, why do we park our toddler’s in front of the boob tube if it’s not really enhancing their cognitive development? Why are products like Baby Einstein still a staple in nearly every baby shower across the country? Well, while I don’t expect my toddler’s brain to get bigger with Elmo’s help, he is entertained and out of my hair for about 20 minutes while I can change my clothes and start dinner.
After all, it’s not as if I’m telling him to play with my steak knives, right?
I was sitting on my couch tonight, finishing some editing work on my latest novel, when I decided to take a mental break and do some internet surfing. As I pulled up one of the trashy celebrity news websites, I read that John Travolta’s teenaged son had passed away in an apparent accident while the family was on vacation. It immediately struck me and I said a prayer for their family. As a parent, I wanted to run down the hallway, scoop up my little munchkin out of bed and squeeze him good and tight. continue reading…
My daughter is a social butterfly.
Thus far, she hasn’t been around too too many children but that doesn’t stop her. She beams at strangers, and offers up her hands to be picked up while were at the tea house having lunch. She babbles to anyone that will listen, and is quite the attention whore.
Lately though, she’s been kind of a bully. This weekend was filled with children; on Saturday we went to a second birthday for my husbands, friends, son. Paige rode a pony, lurked next to a Backyardigan, and ate some pizza. She also knocked a little girl to the ground with one of her “you’re going to like this if it kills you…” hugs. No tears were shed, but I stubbed my toe trying to catch both toddlers as they tumbled towards the cement.
Sunday, we had a BBQ of our own with one of my newest mom friend, her husband, and their daughter. Paige was playing nice for awhile, but than she started PINCHING her future BFF. I was sort of embarrassed so I just mumbled “I forgot to mention she’s a pincher…” and all was well until Paige went on to rip bff’s pacifer out of her mouth any chance she got. This caused tears. What a monster! After pacifcer stealing we moved on to assault and she began smacking quite forcefully if BFF wasn’t paying attention. More tears, and a lot of “no, no PAIGE NOS” later, it was bed time.
If my kid keeps up with the abuse she’s never going to have ANY friends! Behind that dimpled smile is a monster waiting to pinch you, smack you, and [while you're in shock] steal your favorite stuffed animal.
That’s right, I’m on summer vacation [with five deadlines, and a book to work on, but who's counting?] My monster is at Grandma’s getting spoiled [again] for five days. They are going to a wedding, they had a THIRD birthday party for her, and she’s not doubt wearing a lot of pink shit that says Princess [which I hate, but what happens at G-mas, stays there, right?]
The funny thing is, when I tell people I expect high fives and a “lets get wassssted!” but many of my mom friends are puzzled by my enthusiasm for my summer vacation. They “couldn’t” part with their kids for “more than a day, tops..” and I feel a twinge of guilt for the flutter of excitment I get when I think about takin a shit, with the door closed, by myself. Hell, I went out and bought a new razor so I could spend five minutes extra making my legs smooth as well, my childs butt. It’s like heaven! And I’m not wearing a bra! And I don’t feel guilty about staying up late [cough, 11pm] to watch gymnastics! ‘
And now, for the real purpose of my blog, I need advice…
Down the dirt road from our house, there is a shack. In that shack, are five children, one mom, and one dad. They have baby chickens, dogs, cats, turkeys, roosters, you name it. Sometimes they come over for a swim, and sometimes we go down to say hi to their zoo. There is one little boy Landen, who is absoutely adorable with his waist length blonde curls, and four year old swagger…but, he won’t leave us alone. Example:
12pm: doorbell rings, it’s Landen asking to talk to my husband. I tell him that we are working today, and he can come for a swim, or to see our pets later but now we need to do stuff, and to come back in a few hours. He says “okay, sure!”
12:10pm: doornell rings, it’s Laden asking if we are done. I explain in my best “patient mom” voice that only ten minutes has passed, now a few hours, like, 120 minutes, so he can come back.
12:12pm: db rings, it’s Landen asking if he can talk to Phil. I say that he’s working, and he tells me a story involving chickens, guns, and police. I nod thoughtfully, and tell him to come back later.
12:15pm: db rings, Laden wants to know if I told Phil the story, and what did he think of it? I tell him I didn’t, we are working and to COME BACK IN A FEW HOURS. Landen holds up 2 fingers and goes “this many minutes…” and I hold up 6 fingers and say “this many hours….”
The doorbell rings at least 10x per day. The thing is, I am patient and the kid IS adorable. IF I didn’t have work I’d let him hang here al day eating peanut butter toast and entertaining me with Redneck stories. But. I. do. How do I make him stop? I could call his parents, but what do I say without sounding like a huge bitch? They are country folk, and probably don’t care if he wanders through the woods to our place, and even though I’ve warned him I’m “getting mad and won’t give him any more fruit roll ups…” he comes back. He just showed up to show me his new pocket knife. I told him I’m not into violence.
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