Jane Healy’s message is clear and now France Bans TV Shows for Babies

August 23, 2008 at 3:59 am | Posted in Kindermusik | 2 Comments
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Fellow Kindermusik Educator Lori Burkhardt called attention to a newsfeed today called Exchange Every Day. I have copied it below but wanted to interject my thoughts after reading the article.

In the summer of 2001 I had the opportunity to hear Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. at our Kindermusik Educators convention in Washington D.C. I was so impressed with what she had to say that I immediately purchased the three books she spoke about in her keynote. “Your Child’s Growing Mind: A Guide to Learning and Brain Development from Birth to Adolescence”, “Endangered Minds, Why Children Don’t Think – and What We Can Do About It” and “Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds- and What We Can Do About It”. All three texts are filled with valuable insight into the development of our children’s brains and to a great extent the effect of today’s media push on our young children and the impact that push has on the young developing brain. I encourage you to seek out what the TV and Computer are doing to rewire our young children’s brains, and how it directly relates to attention problems, reading problems, testing problems and much more. Just google Jane Healy and you will find many articles and opinions about the issue. It is so important, Parents, to limit, even eliminate access to TV and computer until your child is well past age five. Impossible you say? Only if you let it be impossible. Our life-styles are definitely endangering the development of our children’s minds and France has certainly taken a LOUD step in changing this access to young minds. read on… and To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay, a free daily e-newsletter, go to www.ccie.com/eed

France Bans TV Shows for Babies

A member of the leadership team of Working Forum for Men in Early Childhood Education, Ron Blatz from Manitoba, Canada, shared this MSNBC story:

“France’s broadcast authority has banned French channels from airing TV shows aimed at children under 3 years old, to shield them from developmental risks it says television viewing poses at that age. The High Audiovisual Council, in a ruling published Wednesday, said it wanted to ‘protect children under 3 from the effects of television.’

“….France’s minister for culture and communication, Christine Albanel, issued a ‘cry of alarm’ to parents in June about channels dedicated 24 hours a day to baby-targeted programming. In a newspaper interview, she called them ‘a danger’ and urged parents not to use them to help their children get to sleep. She was referring to two foreign channels that can be seen in France on cable television, BabyFirstTV and Baby TV.

“….The ruling cites health experts as saying that interaction with other people is crucial to early child development. ‘Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain
number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens,’ the ruling said.

“When BabyFirstTV first aired in the United States in 2006, it escalated an already heated national debate. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said babies should be kept away from television altogether.
BabyFirstTV and other companies say their products are designed to be watched by babies and parents together in an interactive manner. Critics say such channels are used as a baby sitter.”

Now back to Jane Healy…in a lecture on Brain Development and Strategies for Successful Parenting at Long Island University, Dr. Healy discussed the miracle of neuroplasticity – how the child’s brain develops in response to experience. Among the questions addressed were:

  • How can we best educate our children for the tasks they will face as adults in the 21st century?
  • And how can we best engage them in activities that promote healthy brain development?

“We know from good research that music, the arts, the humanities – a broad range of studies and physical movements – actually improve the brain,” says Dr. Healy. “They help bring about the integration of neural development, information, thinking, creativity, and imagination that will be so badly needed in the twenty-first century.”

So what are you going to do? I say provide quality opportunities to interact with your child. Reading and musical play are so important. Try a Kindermusik class. Loving your child is what it’s all about!

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2 Comments »

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  1. You know, I didn’t even know there were such TV shows!!

    We have a rule in our house that the TV is off until 3pm. That’s when Play School comes on. When my daughter was a preschooler the rule was also that the TV was only on for an hour.

    I really believe a simple rule like this has helped my daughter’s reading and writing skills.

  2. Nerida,

    What is becoming much more known is the fact that early exposure to TV actually rewires the brain of our littlest ones and can majorly impact the areas of the brain that control imagination and creativity, problem solving and other important skills are affected.


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