Gov’t Bans TV for Children Under 2

In the news today was a story about the Australian government banning TV for children under 2. They say that children under 2 years of age “should not spend any time watching television, or other electronic media (DVD’s, computers, video games).

First, let me say that there’s something to be said for keeping kids active, and today’s society of electronic entertainment has definitely contributed to a new wave of childhood obesity. But for some reason – sometimes smaller countries seem prone to creating wacky legislation or “guidelines” that make no goddamn sense.

Being the father of a 3 years – I can tell you that the television can be an overwhelming and positive source in the growth of a child. Has the Australian government seen or heard any of the TV programming created solely for kids under the age of 3? Have they watched shows on Noggin, Sprout, or Nick Jr.? Have they monitored kids that have learned to read and talk at more advanced rates because they were watching childrens educational programming? What about the “My Baby Can Read” series, which includes a DVD you have your baby watch twice per day (as early as 6 months old), and all the documented cases of children actually reading childrens books at 18 months?

Thank God I don’t live in Australia – because I’d have to fly the big ‘ol “FU” flag on this one. We taught our son to use the computer at 3 years old, and he knows how to use the mouse, start educational games, go to his favorite web sites, and more. Like most things, all electronic media can be abused, but it can be one of the greatest educational resources as well. TV can also dramatically speed up the learning process for most children when used properly.

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