The book, by the way, I strongly recommend to all of you with children, most especially those with babies and toddlers, or if you're regularly buying gifts for kids. It's Buy, Buy Baby, and is an enlightening and fascinating look at the development of toy/book/video marketing, especially to the 0-3 age range and their mothers. (I'd say parents, but the book's a bit focused on mothers. So.) I'm not sure to what extent it'll change my own buying patterns, but it's reinforced that foreground tv watching really is harmful in large doses for the little ones. So will try to avoid setting Kavi in front of the tv unless I'm really frayed or sick, or she is. Maybe it's like medicine; you can use it in tiny, carefully controlled doses, even though too much of it really will rot your brain. I hope.
Also, try to expose her to less background tv -- that means if I want some distraction while cleaning, for example, turn on the stereo instead of HGTV, and try to watch the shows I really want to watch in the evening, after she's gone to bed. That's mostly what we do these days anyway, but I'm going to try to be better about it. Kevin still wants us to actually get rid of the tv, but I'm not ready to take that step.
Also, try hard to keep her away from commercials -- there seems to be a real link with kids getting quickly attached to cute characters that are then used to sell all sorts of things, perhaps most dangerously tons of unhealthy junk food. Starting as early as eighteen months!! I suspect it'll be easier to use Tivo or DVD's to avoid the commercials than it will be to have to tell her 'no, Kavi, no double-bacon-cheeseburger for you' every five minutes.
Also, will try to stop buying into the specious claims that this or that toy or video is 'educational'. They're really not -- or at least, there's no science backing up most of the claims. Kavi may learn more from a bowl of water that she can splash in than from an electronic drum that sings the alphabet in English and Spanish. (Yes, someone did give her that, and she enjoys it when we let her have it. We left it at the grandparents for now.)
What are your child/toy/tv/video philosophies?