I second every word of that! I have started to blog about my issues with the B&W views on TV watching many times, but just got too tired (and angry) to actually write it all down. I think that just about anything that is presented as a B&W issue is really a moderation and balance issue. Yes, children who watch TV all the time and have parents who use the tube as a babysitter probably do have all or many of the issues that those articles claim that ALL children who watch TV have. But, as Nikki said, if you use it as a learning tool and use it in addition to all of the teaching that your child learns from interacting with you and other children, then there's nothing wrong with it. It blows my mind the things that Annabelle continues to pick up from TV. From the time that she first started watching TV, I have watched the shows with her and talked about the things that are on the TV. Maybe Baby Einstein in and of itself isn't "educational", but if you have a parent watching it with you and the parent gets excited and points to the horse and says horse and does the sign for horse, then days later you're out in public and a horse rides by you and you are 13 months old and do the sign for horse as soon as you see it, then I think Baby Einstein was worth watching! Yes, Annabelle possibly could have picked up something like that from a book too, but, in Annabelle's case, she was probably about 18 months before I could really get her to sit still long enough to read through a book with me. Also, I think the fact that on a video she sees how a horse moves and the scale of it helped her to realize that it isn't a dog, which could easily be confused for a horse by a 13 month old. As with anything, I think it's all in how you use it. And I'll be the first to admit that I will occasionally use the TV as a babysitter, probably more often that I'd like to admit, but even when I use it that way I will try to still talk about whatever is on TV from where I am or at least make sure that whatever is on is educational. Of course, that is easier with Annabelle than with Corgan (seriously, Annabelle LOVES learning from the TV... Signing Time is one of her new favorites. Thanks Angelle!!!), but I certainly don't think that I'm harming him... especially since if Annabelle is watching with him she's most likely talking about every little thing that she sees and I'm sure he's just soaking it all in!
And while I'm ranting... (to quote a wise woman... haha!), I think the same thing applies to video games. Again, using video games as a babysitter... Bad. Using games as a learning tool... Good! Annabelle actually has 3 different gaming systems already, and she blows my mind how fast she picks these things up. She is able to use a joy stick, is figuring out logical things, learning left from right, reinforcing her letters, learning about countries, and more. I've already professed my love for her V-smile Baby games and how I think they really helped her to learn her colors and shapes at a very early age. She still loves to play those games too, and I'm sure she'll love to help Corgan learn it when he's old enough.
I love Nikki's reasoning for what causes obesity! Right on, Nik! Thanks for bringing this up!