Friday, May 6, 2011

screens are everywhere...

i've been trying to keep beatrice from seeing screens, any screens. so that means no tv, computer or iphone. and that means since i'm with beatrice most of my day, no tv, computer or iphone for me. not so easy. giving up tv was pretty easy, the only tv i've watched since beatrice was born was "mildred pierce." {omg so good...} but the computer and iphone have been much more difficult.

there are several reasons i'm trying to shield beatrice from media. the american academy of pediatrics recommends no tv before the age of 2, and no more than 2 hours of daily media exposure for ages 2 and older. exposure to television in children has been linked to sleep, attention and aggressive behavior problems, and externalizing of problem behaviors. the problem seems to be with interaction. when a child is in front of a television, they are not interacting with their parents. additionally, tv can impair the speech development of young children. under age 2, talking, singing, reading, listening to music or playing are far more important to a child's development.

so i've been really trying to avoid screens and stay engaged and interactive with beatrice. it's tough sometimes. honestly, there are days i just want to check out and read twitter all day. but if i'm going to make huge life changes in order to stay home longer with beatrice, i'd like to stay present and involved.

it's amazing how many screens are in our daily lives. at home, easy enough, we have 1 tv and 1 computer--i just switch them off. but out in the world, screens are everywhere. tv's on the bus, people looking at their laptops in the airport, etc. it's wild if you really stop to think about it, our world is dominated by screens!

the other concern for me is the cell phones and radiation. the environmental working group published a report about cell phone radiation, citing recent studies find significantly higher risks of brain and salivary gland cancers. it's tempting to use the iphone as a baby tool, there are so many applications that could be helpful....i've also tried to avoid using the phone when i'm carrying beatrice. it's not worth the risk as far as i'm concerned.

although it's early, i really love the idea of a school with no media, such as a waldorf school. i already have a lot of waldorf toys for beatrice, as i love how simple and imaginative they are. most are handmade with natural materials, such as felt and wood. so i spend my days playing with beautiful, simple toys with beatrice, going for walks in the park, attending mama & me yoga, meeting up with other mamas for playdates and wearing her while i do things around the house.

which all means i've been in a bit of a media black hole myself. after beatrice goes to sleep, i try to go online, catch up with emails, blog {ha!}, and see what's going on in the world. but honestly, 9 times out of 10, i fall asleep with beatrice and never get on the computer! so a blogging mama, not so much...

i want to spend these formative years with beatrice and encourage in her...a wild imagination, a love of nature, a spirit of gratitude, a healthy curiosity, a zest for learning and a love of life. so if limiting her exposure to media and therefore my own, will help me achieve that, then so be it...

{photo credit: waldorf rotating pictures (waldorf tv?!) from waldorf toys}

1 comment:

loveinventsus said...

I'm with you on the no screen thing and it's not easy. Our days sound similar to yours - lots of walking and simple toys and baby wearing. I have to imagine that all of that visual stimulation can't be a good thing.