In the media recently there has been alot of talk about the evils of TV for the under 2 and that it can delay speech development and the best and only interaction a child should have is that with the parent or adult.
I have always been intrigued by this study done by Monash University in Melbourne, because not once did they elaborate on what these children actually watched on TV. We seem to forget that the television is only a medium and it is the CONTENT of the programme that makes all the difference. Now I know as well as you know that there is alot of crap on television these days and alot of it is touted as educational and wonderful for your child but majority of it is actually crap and too fast and too flashy and not interactive enough and really there to just pacify you child for half and hour without really teaching them much.
Now do not get me wrong, I have used the TV as a babysitter so I can cook tea or have a shower and even sometimes recoup after a night of interrupted sleep with the kiddies I am human after all but my husband and I are very wary about what our children watch and anything that is said to be educational.
When we look at a TV programme or educational DVD we look for something that is
1, The characters in the show speak correctly to each other no programmes where the characters speak in a baby language or talk to each other in gobbledygook.
2. The DVD is interactive, it asks the child to participate in some way by asking the child to do a sign or an action within the programme.
3. Engages and entertains the child but does not necessarily has to entertain the adult.
4. The educational content is high quality.
5. There are children in the programme that are of similar age of your child having fun with what they are learning. (This anecdotal as this is something I have observed in my dd1 as she seems to respond to the programmes with children in it a similar age over a cartoon)
Now as a parent I know that all children are different and not all children will respond to all DVD or TV programmes. Some kids are just not interested in TV at all, but before you go out and spend your hard earned cash on some DVD that is touted as educational by some marketing hype, do a little research first and ask around because some DVDs are just a waste of time and money and deserve to stay on the shelf.