MAKING BRAIN WAVES

Posted: 12/12/2009 in Parenting, Television

Darn those people at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Once again, they’ve released a study sure to heap gobs of guilt on harried parents. Why should we care that 80% of toddlers in America watch two hours of television a day?

If 8 out of 10 parents are too busy to give a rip about the long-term negative behavioral consequences that their toddlers will experience in front of the tube, so what? It’s still a free country.

If a parent wants a mentally-stunted kid, isn’t that their choice?

As if that bit of bad news wasn’t enough, the Kaiser Family Foundation went and surveyed 1,051 families about the television viewing habits of infants. Infants!

We already know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged mom and dad to keep their kids—especially infants—from watching ANY television until age two—because it damages brain development and measurably increases the risk of suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD) later in life. That means no “Baby Einstein” videos, too.

Why, then, does Kaiser feel the need to rub into our faces the fact that 1 in 5 infants have a TV babbling away in their nurseries?

Can’t they see that life is hard and infants require buckets of actual, hands-on attention? With so many good guests on Oprah—not to mention the latest episode of 24, Lost, CSI and watching Letterman dig himself out of his sex with interns scandal—who has time for a needy little infant?

Besides, who does Kaiser think they are to lecture the rest of us about parenting? What are they, the nation’s nanny?

If they cared so much about the welfare of infants, how about they come to my house and take my kid for a stroller ride . . . hold him when he cries . . . kiss him when he coos . . . dress him in a one-piece cozy for bedtime . . . and softly hum lullabies when he stirs in the middle of the night.

I mean, what do they think I am? His dad?

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