As reported in yesterday’s New York Times, a new study by two University of Chicago economists finds TV-watching to have little or no effect on kids’ future academic test scores. The study says nothing about TV’s effects on their behavior, attention or lack of physical activity, but academics doesn’t seem to be a problem.
We limit TV/screen time (including Gameboy, etc.) to about an hour a day, generally while I cook dinner. We’re more relaxed about it on the weekend, when we like to watch movies together. I have no issue with good-quality children’s programming (especially when paired with TiVo) — but I do want my kids a) to know how to actively entertain themselves, and b) get some exercise every day, even if that just means building forts in the basement. So, TV time is set (in our house, 5-6pm), and everyone knows the rules, so there’s a minimum of whining about it.