Why My Son Isn’t Allowed to Watch TV

Eleven months.

Yes, I’m that kind of dad. From the very beginning, I have stuck to my guns about my son not being prematurely exposed to TV, computers, smart phones, or any other kind of device that might confuse his brain regarding what is reality and what is a simulated image.

I’ve written about this before, saying that I’m part of the school of thought that believes there is a tie between Autism and TV. For me, letting a child under the age of 2 watch TV is like feeding him soda in a bottle; it’s simply unnatural in every way.

So ultimately, that is why my son isn’t allowed to watch TV, for at least another year. But the physical reason he can’t watch it is because we currently don’t really have one; unless you count the old-school (2006) 34 inch we keep just for watching Netflix and playing Wii, which rarely happens these days.

Even if we could afford cable, we wouldn’t have time to watch it without seriously jeopardizing the small amount of time we have together as a family. The TV we have is so outdated it won’t even pick up the main networks with an antenna.

Additionally, I’m not cool enough to have the Internet on my phone. Therefore, I’m fine with my son playing with my phone: The worst he has done so far is to text the message “xykghild” to an imaginary contact named “olkhgenjnbsd.”Sounds Icelandic to me.

Heck, he doesn’t even have age appropriate toys to play with. How does an eleven month old little boy learn to psychologically mature with a toy basket full of stuffed animals and some wooden blocks he mainly uses for chew toys? He doesn’t.

Instead, my son makes a game out of finding crumbs of a wheat tortilla that fell into the seat of his high chair.

He takes the cupcake pan out of the cabinet and walks to the other side of the room with it; then falls on top of it, using it as a sled across the carpet.

He speaks in some weird robot language to the invisible army of cats he evidently commands on a regular basis.

Honestly, I don’t see how my son would have time for TV and other electronic entertainment even if we could afford it. I guess he’s stuck with just his parents and his imagination. But I really don’t think he minds being a low-tech baby.

My son has plenty of time to catch up to all the cool, tech-savvy toddlers out there. I’m sure he’ll send me a text message from his first day at Kindergarten. That is, if texting isn’t culturally irrelevant by then.

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  1. by Deb

    On October 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Wow, I’m the first one to comment? Interesting. I love this post! Unfortunately I’ve fallen into the “easiness” of letting my toddler watch TV. I so agree with you Mr. Shell, we’re parents here not CEOs so I’ll call you Nick. Anyway, my daughter watches half of a show and plays at the same time, usually two shows. She also loves to play with random things. I don’t have cable or internet on my phone, but PBS and Qubo are great. I do try to have my daughter play with all different kinds of things. She like to play with a doll stroller, cars, books, pots and pans, coloring, or simply looking out the window. One thing she can’t live without is going outside. I always went for a walk with my daughter since she was 3 or 4 months old. Being home can get boring and luckily for us we have a small park a block away. Thanks for the post.

  2. by Nick Shell

    On October 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Deb, congrats on being the first to comment :) Sounds like your child and mine have a lot in common. Honestly, I have to admit- my son has no interest in TV anyway. I’ve actually tempted him with it before and he just doesn’t care about it yet. Conveniently lucky, I guess.