I often have to put my daughter in front of the tv when I have to get ready in the morning or need to do a task. I usually put on sesame street. Is this useful in helping her learn (she is 15 months) or is this just my justification for putting her in front of the tv guilt?

asked 01 Nov '09, 15:57

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oo
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edited 01 Nov '09, 16:31

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When it comes to educational TV shows, I think Sesame Street sets a good standard. I grew up watching it. Today, my 3 year old daughter watches it. She especially likes Elmo.

I know my daughter is learning new things from Sesame Street – I've heard her mention words she picked up from the show. I sometimes watch with her or am in the room at the same time.

You'll find experts and literature that suggest young children shouldn't watch too much TV. I don't disagree – I think it's important to limit the amount of TV and encourage other activities. But I'm also practical, and I like the educational content of some of the shows. So, all things in moderation. For what it's worth, my daughter has been watching Sesame Street since before she was two. Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao Kai Lan, too.

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answered 01 Nov '09, 16:41

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Chris W. Rea
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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO "screen time" for children under 2 years old.

Sesame street is probably ok for preschoolers (2-3 and up), if you choose to put them in front of a TV at all. As kid videos go, I think it's pretty much universally acknowledged to be the top of the heap.

If you have nobody else able to watch the kid and you really need to get something done for a few minutes, I guess there are worse things than a few minutes of Sesame Street. Don't beat yourself up over it. But also don't kid yourself that she'd learn more from (totally non-interactive) TV than sitting with you for the equivalent amount of time and talking or looking at a book. (See, for example, the recent refund offer for Baby Einstein videos, which was done in lieu of facing a court case over false advertising that videos make kids smarter, when nearly everybody who studies the issue seriously things the opposite.)

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answered 02 Nov '09, 01:06

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My daughter knows how to wrap a present and can verbally tell you step by step how to do it using all the "present lingo" thanks to Elmo. hehe

I have noticed lately, however, that Sesame Street is becoming more liberal so there are some things that have been shown recently that I don't really agree with, thus I usually show her DVD's of the shows I think are okay for her to watch. I'm not saying it's bad, just with everything it's up to parents decide what they want their child to watch.

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answered 01 Nov '09, 22:33

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My daughter usually watches about 30 minutes of Sesame Street during breakfast. Even though the show is part of our routine (mommy and I enjoy it, too), she hasn't formed an attachment to it. I can easily turn the TV off at any time without any objections from the child.

I would say be careful though. A few days ago we forgot to turn off the TV after Sesame Street and went off to do other things. Eventually my daughter got back to the living room and caught a few minutes of the latest Thomas and Friends movie. She got absolutely obsessed with it! Now 4 or 5 days later I'm still struggling to contain the constant requests for "train".

Of course, YMMV, I would be sure to present TV watching as a "disposable" activity. In other words, something that you sometimes do but can easily do without. We try to lead by example. Don't exhibit any attachment to TV shows. I know some dads who absolutely must watch their football games on weekends. If you can't be bothered by your child when Tottenham takes a beating or when Oprah is on, don't expect your child to easily let go of Sesame Street either.

In my experience if you undoubtedly must watch one show or another without interruption, I would consider either getting it from BitTorrent or having your DVR record it for you. I understand that the "security through obscurity" approach doesn't work for bad habits, yet exceptions can be made in exceptional cases. Use your judgement.

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answered 01 Dec '09, 17:01

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edited 02 Dec '09, 00:03

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Asked: 01 Nov '09, 15:57

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Last updated: 02 Dec '09, 00:03