A month of blagging

When I started this blag I hoped I might get a hundred hits in the first month.  Three weeks into my experiment, with over two hundred and fifty pageviews logged I thought, “Maybe I’ll see 300 hits in the first month.”

Somehow, I broke 400 pageviews in the first 4 weeks of blogging at bookish dad.  That kind of blows my mind.  408 pageviews with no marketing and no real point, except having a platform to ramble about having kids.

I know it’s not me, and I appreciate those of you who’ve liked what I’ve written enough to share it with your friends.  Thank you.  I’ll keep going, I have more to ramble about.

Abby's Photographic Skills

Abby totally rocked the camera tonight.  She seemed so adult, sitting there, telling Katie and I to say “Cheese”.  Katie spent most of her energy trying to get away from me, but it doesn’t look like it in the photo.
Abby is getting better and better with my iPhone, she asks to play “The birds game where they fly through the air and crash” (Angry Birds) and “the birds game where he sleeps and then he flies on the hill and then he falls asleep” (Tiny Wings).  She’s only played these games five or six times in the last year, but she gets better every time she plays.  When she plays, I wonder what effect that kind of entertainment has on her development.
A great tech site that I follow ran an article this week (here) about the effect of television on children under two.  You probably remember the journal Pediatrics releasing a study in 2009 about Baby Einstein videos, and other infant “Educational” videos.  That study said that there was “No evidence of cognitive benefit from watching TV during the first two years of life.”
A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics summarizes some of the findings from the 2009 study, along with 50 or so other studies performed between 1999 and today.  According to this policy statement, television, even “educational” videos, have no benefits for children under two.  In fact, they can be detrimental when they stop the child from participating in more important developmental behaviors.  Among infants 8 to 16 months old, each hour of viewing child DVDs/videos results in a marked decrement in language development.
What are some more important developmental behaviors?  Playing and parental interaction are two big ones.  I think playing with blocks, dolls, and other toys which require (and build) imagination will always be better than any educational video, and not just for children under two.
We probably all know that, somewhere in our innards.  Still, the sirens call of a video or a toy or a method that can put our kids ahead of the curve is so hard to resist.  While the AAP encourages us to let our children play and to have fun with them, we’re drawn to anything that might prepare them for preschool, or school, or the SAT’s.
Well, I guess it’s not all altruism: there’s nothing like an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba when dinner is late and the toddler only wants to be held.  Does that make me a criminal?  Does that mean I’m not committed to the wellbeing of my children?!
I’d like to think it doesn’t.  It’s good to know that the most important things for my children are the fundamentals, and that a big part of my job is just to have fun with them.


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2 Responses to A month of blagging

  1. Kristi October 20, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I'm glad you are enjoying your blag 🙂 It's fun and also nice to have a place to vent and let out your thoughts. You are an amazing writer!

    As for TV, the husband has a huge hate for it with the kids. He also hates any electronics, computer, or phone time for them. When I was with them, I always had a half hour or hour in the afternoons after naptime to reset for them (and also get things done!!!) but now that he is home… We have movie night once a week (2 hours) and then on Saturday mornings I let them watch an hour of cartoons (usually) in the mornings.

    They play with my phone randomly… probably 10 minutes a week. They LOVE Angry Birds but what they love more is looking at all the videos I take of them, and the pictures.

    I kind of wish the husband would let them play the computer more but it's not too necessary. http://www.StarFall.com is a great site and they love it.

    They are too busy doing activities, playing, reading, or at the park. We are super lucky though with our set up. As long as you are having fun and THINKING about your choices, then it's fine.

  2. C. D. Eagle October 24, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Yeah, I try to limit the TV to a half hour a day. I'm happy on the days that we don't watch any and I try to be content on the days that they only watch a half hour but I usually feel guilty, like I'm sinning somehow by not being able to keep their attention or keep them entertained. I mean, I could do, but it's nice to have a few minutes to pick up and get things done.

    This is a problem specific to their age. I'm sure when they're teenagers I'll be craving the current level of engagement. I'm looking forward to seeing them grow and mature and I can't wait to do new things with them, but this age is so beautiful and I really don't want it to end.

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