Friday, August 04, 2006

Dora the Baby Whisperer

"Recognizing the negative effects of television on children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children 2 years and older watch less than 2 hours of television per day and that children younger than 2 years watch no television."

That's all well and fine, but someone needs to explain this to Baby. She's recently made a new friend named Dora and I don't think she will give her up because she's under 2.

I didn't mean for this to happen. I mean, I knew what the AAP had to say on babies and TV. But Sister brought home a Dora DVD from the library and Baby, who had never shown an interest in TV before, was transfixed. It's not like I sat her down and said, "Here, Baby, sit in front of this big screen TV and stare at it like a brainless zombie until your brain turns to mush." After seeing it once, she began to ask for it.

Now she calls for Tico and Backpack. She even tries to say "calliente" at Dora's prompting. Heck, she practically has it memorized. She stands up right before Dora sings the "We Did It!" song, anticipating the music, then breaks out in dance, mimicing her spanish-speaking friend perfectly.

It's adorable.

So, tell me, you've just found a way to keep your toddler occupied for more than 30 seconds. What do you do?

You take advantage.

If she is whiney or extra obnoxious or throwing a fit, all I have to say is, "You wanna watch Dora?" Suddenly she forgets everything else and hotfoots it to the TV.

There goes my Mother of the Year award.

17 comments:

LiteratureLover said...

How cute! All my kids have loved Dora too.

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

Your baby tries to say "caliente??" Obviously the AAP rules don't apply to your child--she is much more mature than your average baby!!!! :)

So see? No guilt!

SuperMom said...

Yes, all my children are geniuses - way above average intelligence. That's why their heads are so big...to hold their enormous mega smart brains :-)
For the record, when Baby tries to repeat caliente, it doesn't sound anything like the actual word. It is only her version.

dcrmom said...

ARGH!! I'm so with you. I was such a model parent when I only had one child. I followed all the AAP recommendations (well, except I used Babywise, but that's a whole 'nother story...)

Anyway, the AAP (and fortunately Babywise) flew out the window when I had #2.

novaks8 said...

My 5 year old can name all the colors in Spanish and count to 10 in spanish and say many basic words because of Dora. My 2 year old is learning as well.

I think it is just fine especially since they are learning something.

MoneyDummy said...

I'm in the same boat you are. BabyMoney has a few Baby Genius and Signing Time videos that he really loves, and he gets to watch one in the morning while I do my chores. I try to console myself with the knowledge that they're educational. *Wry grin*

If it makes you feel any better, Freakonomics asserts that television viewing time had zero correlation with decreased IQ test scores. *Shrug*

Plain Jane Mom said...

Try "Go Diego Go!" -- Dora's friend. My boys discovered it yesterday and they don't want to do anything but watch it!

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Well geesh. I was just talking about buying my 8 month old a Dora video! Dora is always on at my friends house, and my baby loves it! It's the only show that's ever held her attention! Now I'm not supposed to? Yeah right! If it'll help me pee without having her on the bathroom floor in front of me, Um...I'm buying one!

jjofar said...

our oldest would come in to work with me last year at my school before i would take him to preschool during my first period plan time. one day, there was a group of ESL (english as second language) students being tutored in the library and he very quickly said, "they are peaking panish!!" he of course 'peaks panish' because of Dora and now Diego...luckily he has recently found his 's' sound also!! THEY ROCK!

Mommy the Maid said...

My daughter watches Bear in the Big Blue House. Not "mindless Zombie like" but for at least 15-20 minutes so I can shower.

Besides, Baby could me watching way worse.

Christina said...

I just came across your blog and had to comment on this one. I have 7 kids, 2 are grown and 5 still here. My youngest is 3 and he rarely watches anything but Blues Clues. One day a few months ago he kept pointing to the tv and screeming Eddy, Eddy, Eddy. I realized my 2 older ones must of been watching this one day when I wasn't home and now he wants Ed, Ed, and Eddy. I can't stand that show and I am so embarrassed when we are around other people and he says this. They all look at me like you let your 3 year old watch Ed, Ed, and Eddy. Oh well count me out for mother of the year also.

Mama of 2 said...

Honestly I don't think Girlie Girlie watches all the much tv -- not like her big brother does anyhow. She'll stare for all of a few minutes then go back to whatever she's been previously doing. And I'm sorry if the AAP doesn't approve but sometimes 30 minutes of Elmo's World saves this stressed out mama.

h b said...

Momo (elmo) and Boo Doggy (Blue) are two of my son's best buddies. He says "Wiggles" in his sleep. He is almost two and has made a lot of educational buddies. I like it because I enjoy seeing his remembering things like a Wiggles concert or Elmo at the library. I love seeing how happy he gets dancing to Elmo or wants to listen to his WIggles CD in his room. I loved all of my "friends" when I was little. Care Bear, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony; imagine not having those memories when you see a My Little Pony lunchbox! No TV until their two?? I'd like to see them make that actually happen. I think learning how to sit down and relax is a good thing to learn. Sometimes I forget..

Grafted Branch said...

I don't know what to think! I know the recommendations, but here's what happened with my 3 girls: First born almost lived in front of the television for way too many hours/day starting very young. By 2 and a half, she was speaking as well as any adult -- perfectly clear in full sentences.

Second and Third born watch very few programs, and without any regularity. They are 4 and 6, and I'm the only one that can understand most of what they say!

Did the television help my first-born's verbal skills? Were the other two hindered by a lack of language pumping from the big grey god? Or was it simply geography...my first learned to speak in one state, the last two in South Texas where the Spanish influence has everyone speaking at crazy speed, in my opinion.

Anyway, maybe selective t.v. isn't all bad at all. Though, it does prove addictive and that's a whole new problem. Ugh.

Have your pre-readers discovered PBS' "Reading Between The Lions" yet? That's a good watch!

Susanne said...

I'm with ya! The same thing happened when my little girl was about 1 year old. Sometimes, you have to go with what works! I don't think our kids will be scarred for life. :)

jessica said...

You should check out the Wonder Pets... my kids love that show... even I can sing the song!

Jessica said...

My kids love "Dora the Explorer"!!!