Can babies learn from TV?

Which educational DVD/VCD should I get? Or should I get a subscription channel instead? Will the show be beneficial for my child?

I’m sure that these questions flash pass your mind when you enter a video shop or aisle while you are shopping at the supermarket.

Nowadays the choices are plentiful with a wide array of child specialist promoted or recommended VCDs/DVDS and even dedicated baby channels such parents are spoilt for choice.

There are many experts who proclaim that children under 2 yrs old should not be exposed to television. I beg to differ as through my personal experience a moderate and co-viewing of programs does help to teach my children certain basic concepts.

Babies one year old and under are very impressionable and their minds absorb like sponges. Their ability to learn and comprehend should not be understated and taken for granted.

TV viewing is very powerful and the graphical representations on screen extremely captivating. It is a rich source of learning and can assist the parent in showing the child items/pictures which could not be seen in normal daily life. Eg: Animals in the zoo. Babies are also introduced the the various

I have seen my kids eyes been fixed on the screen every time a particular jingle is played while they watched the program I pre-selected for them. They stare mesmerized to the screen throughout the duration .while trying to imitate the dance movement or sing-along with the characters. Through repeated viewings of the program they learn how to associate certain objects Ie: Apple with the word.

Through the visuals and sounds they see and hear from the program they get a grasp of how a certain item looks like and the associated sound of the word which is linked to it. It also helped in building up their vocabulary.

So what should you choose? DVD/VCD or subscription to a channel?

There is no clear answer to this question.

Personally, I would recommend DVDs as compared to channel subscription. It would work out cheaper as you can always rent them from video shops or libraries to see it’s content suitability for your child.

Here is my take on paid channel subscription.

BabyFirstTV- the latest explosion onto the scene has sparked up a lot of interest in parents concerning it’s suitability for their precious kids. It was featured in Jan 2008 on ChannellNewsAsia during their Primetime morning show. There was also a month-long free preview on Cable TV. The many different educational programs available on that channel and the modest subscription pricing makes it a great bargain for parents who are looking for commercial free channel subscription.

I have previewed BabyFirstTV and personally feel that it does little to add to a baby’s knowledge and learning ability. In fact my four year old that enjoyed the programs we previewed together as he was able to related to certain actions/activities which he has had prior knowledge on. My one year old on the other hand only occasionally glanced at the program that was being aired and was more interested in playing with his shape-sorter then watching the show on television. He spent the most 2-3 mins watching the show.

DVDs that I have watched and would recommend are

For 1-2yr olds – Barney and Hi-5 series

Barney and Hi-5 both have music & movement, story telling and cover a wide range of topics. The VCD/DVD are very entertaining and educational for young kids.

For 2-3yr olds , Kipper the Dog, and Thomas the Train series.

[These DVDs are also for sale at our Associate Amazon Store]

Personal relationship and various day to day happenings are addressed in these series.

Besides these VCDs/DVDs there are a many other equally good in their educational value but I will save those recommendations for later.

Moderation in viewing of these programs are advised by many experts. I normally set a time limit of the maximum 1hr for a show on the TV.

Co-viewing is also recommended as parents make the viewing of the show more interactive and stimulated.

Parents can point out interesting things in the show or highlight desired behaviour in their kids. They could also act on their child’s interest in a certain part of the show , IE: viewing of cows in the barn, to do a follow up with an actual visit to a farm or reading about a farms while visiting the library.



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I Scream I Scream

I’m really in need of earplugs. The two little monsters are driving me up the wall with their high pitch shrills and screams as they competitively battle each other in the ” Who is louder… get more attention” and the ” I am louder and I should get my way”competitions which run concurrently.

“DADAAAAAAAAAAA!!” screams Roy as he tries to snatch the shape sorter back from Ryan.

” Nooooooooooooo!!” Ryan retaliates and prevents him for taking it. ” My turn to play!”

“Wahhhhhhhhh!” Roy bursts out crying trying to win his way through tears and asking for empathy.

A common sight in your household too? How do you deal with the kids when this happens?

I try to mediate between the two of them without compromising on either one of them. It is really hard to distinguish who should give way and which boy started the “match”. As there is a delicate balance between forcing one of them to compromise even though he may not be in the “wrong” and teaching him to be generous and understanding towards his brother. I do not want them (especially the elder boy) to grow spiteful towards the other sibling and use manipulation to get his own way if I make a wrong judgement to who started the rift.

If the elder boy is in the wrong I will make him apologize to his younger brother and return the toy to him. At the same time get Roy to acknowledge his actions and “thank” his brother for giving him back the toy. I believe in reasoning and modeling good behaviour is the easiest way for them to learn at this age.

It is really tiring getting them to learn to share and play cooperatively. I’m trying very hard to keep cool while giving both parties the benefit of the doubt. No one said that parenting would be easy and sibling rivalry and manipulation can start since they are babies. Nevertheless I am still persisting and giving my best in educating them and enjoying the rare moments when I do see them playing together in peace.

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