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Old 04-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
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TV time Question (& a mini vent)

OK, so DS (20months) doesn't watch TV. We choose not to have cable because when I was pregnant, DH and I saw how lazy we had become in front of it. We didn't want to raise our children into the habits we had formed. We have music on all day long pretty much, so DS and I sing and dance a lot. When DS was younger, he did watch Baby Signing Time and picked up that quite easily.
So anyway, now I am feeling pressured to let him watch shows. My parents think his speech is delayed and they think it's BC he signs what he wants and doesn't have to speak. He says about two dozen words (that we can clearly understand). He goes to mother's morning out 1x a week and has social interaction regularly. They think he will learn a lot more watching TV and will pick up talking more.
Also, we know a little girl 2 days older than DS that says the alphabet, can spell her name, has full sentence conversations, knows all her colors, can name letters as you write them and can recite books back to you after being read to her a few times (I think she knows more, but that's just a start). I know all kids are different, but should I let DS watch TV? Would it make or big difference in learning/speaking? And how much per day/week?
I am not going to lie, I do feel like a failure...I know I am not the best teacher, but I didn't think he was so far behind. I know DS does other things that the little girl doesn't do, I know all kids are different, but I don't know what's best anymore for the subject of TV. I appreciate you mamas reading this and giving any advice! Thanks!


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Old 04-01-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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My 20 month old ds just jabbers. He does say our names and the names of his siblings, though you have to know what he is saying. He says be, eat, drink, ball, bath. All one word, no sentences. That is pretty much normal for 20 month olds in our family. Oh he does say no very well! I am not worried about him and he sounds pretty on par with your son.

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: TV time Question (& a mini vent)

TV won't help, we very much limit tv before 2, but after that don't care if they watch a bit everyday as long as chores are done and they are doing other things as well instead of becoming obsessed with the tv.

Being around other kids his age who are speaking well may help, it did for my oldest.

He's not delayed, just not advanced in speech. The other child you described is NOT the norm for a child of that age.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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Honestly that little girl sounds incredibly advanced for her age. DS was similar to yours at 20 months, but when he turned two his language just exploded. He's watched tv this whole time, so while I do think it has helped him with some stuff that I just don't think of (or have the time or inclination to do), I don't think he'd be further behind without it.

If you're worried that the signing is impeding his speech, maybe get him to sign and say the word when he wants something.

Even though I'm a huge tv addict, I like to think I had a bit more influence in my child's development than simply planting him in front of the tv. You're doing a good thing by limiting tv and encouraging activity. Don't forget, tv is a relatively new invention.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: TV time Question (& a mini vent)

Boys tend to be a little behind girls when it comes to language. Although age-appropriate TV can expose them to language, so can talking, playing, reading books, etc. I think you've done just fine with no TV. If you're really worried about his language development, you should call your local early intervention office and request a (free) speech language evaluation. Also, look into story time at your local library. TV is not the way to solve a speech delay.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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No! TV is NOT how children learn language. They learn it from interactive conversations. Now, I'll admit my kids watch more than they should, and I'm not saying only terrible parents plop their kids in front of TV, but Google TV neuron pruning if you want some evidence of why not.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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Re: TV time Question (& a mini vent)

Hello there Karissa!

I love your name. My DD is Larissa : )

I just had to log on and comment after I read your post.

Please, please don't feel like a failure. You are doing wonderful things w/ your DS. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for that. Do it now!

We are a family that limits screen time and we also have the radio on all the time.

Really although well meaning your parents are completely wrong in the letting him watch tv department. Forget everything they said. Why would the tv be effective at teaching him language but the radio (completely AUDIO) is not?

Do your parents even have a clear knowledge of speech delays? I would just either nod and smile when they say this nonsense or tell them you disagree.

Please don't start sitting your little boy in front of the tv because mom and dad think it might get him to speak more. Also even though it is SO hard try not to compare your kid to others because every kid is different and these things won't matter in 3 yrs.

Now go dance and sing w/ your DS! Have fun and don't worry about his speech unless there are real concerns.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Re: TV time Question (& a mini vent)

While some TV programs can be educational, I don't think it will make kids smarter. I think you are doing a fabulous job with your son and he sounds like he is perfect!

In my own family, I have found my girls are way more verbal than my boys. And my first son (3rd child) was the absolute last to speak a word and he is gifted. I only taught him sign language at 15 months old because he wasn't verbal and would just scream until we figured out what he wanted. My mom was so against it because she thought he didn't speak bc of the sign language.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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Nope. Your parents are wrong. Although some educational TV like Sesame Street wouldn't hurt him too much; it will not progress him that much either. I have been teaching for 14 years, and know that on average, boys are behind girls verbally, as well as in reading and writing, until about third grade where they usually have caught up to them. There are definitely those who are not the norm; my nephew was extremely verbal and successful in those skills very early on, but boys tend to be more physical earlier, and better at mathematical reasoning at younger ages. That is why it is great that he is learning to sign for hos needs (physical). As a teacher, I don't think, I know that boys and girls develop differently, as does each individual child. 20 months is WAY too early to be comparing your son to others. You're doing fine.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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My daughter was like the little girl you described at that age and my son was at about the same level as you son. Girls tend to develop more quickly. Also like you said everyone is different.
My daughter did start watching TV around 20 months as that is when her brother was born. She watch Baby Einstein DVD's or Sesame Street. My son began watching much earlier as his sister was already watching, his speech wasn't delayed it was just different than his sisters.
Your sons speech doesn't sound delayed. Speech and communication is about more than the actual words a child can say. If your son is comprehending and expressing his needs through sign/words at 20 months he is fine
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