Quiet Time

Infants need quiet time.  With the first child it is pretty easily accomplished.  I am finding that with a second baby and an older child toddling about Quiet Time is difficult to achieve.  Why is it so important?  I have noticed that with the music and noise and heaven forbid, television on, there might just be too much stimulation.  Television is bad.  There is something unnatural about the old sets with the cathode ray tubes.  Worse now are the HD televisions.  There is a brightness that is unnatural, unholy, ungodly.

My six month old, she wants to be around her sister and wants to sit and pull to stand.  She doesn’t want to be on her belly.  She doesn’t want to try and scooch.  When she was with her sister one time this week, I saw her look at the television.  And then I saw her look away.  She looked bothered by it.  It was wrong.

That night when she woke up with teething pain and could not go back to sleep, I took out to that same spot.  The lights were dimmed.  We sat there quietly playing.  I was responding to her, facially, visually, manually supports.  She was so content.  She had memory of earlier in the day with all that noise and overstimulation, she looked to the television screen which is now dark and quiet.  Satisfied, she looks away and doesn’t look back.  A whole hour we did this.  It was wonderful.  It was exhausting but so worth it.

I interviewed a couple, parents to an autistic child.  They told me that she was scared of fire.  Most curious, trouble making youngsters have closet pyromania in them.  This light is flickering and natural and should stoke curiosity, not fear.  Then I asked about television.  The dad states that the child would often turn the television off herself!  In my talks with them I sensed tension and discord.  My suspicion is that this couple argued often in front of the child (no sibs).  With the television blaring, the arguing, she is being driven crazy by the excess stimulation.

Now, Baby Einsteins.  There was that study that showed children exposed to Baby Einsteins talked less.  Remember all the hubbub.  All was quiet on the Disney front.  They paid $500 million for a company started by a woman with no medical, no child development background that proved to be harmful to the target group they focused on.  Come on.  These children, by watching, are constantly, turn into receptacles, constantly in receiving mode.  They do not get a chance to be in exploratory, expressive mode.  Common sense.  I also believe the fact of the light of the television does something to them. 

Children who we pediatrician suspect might have seizures, we order an EEG; an electroencephalogram.  Wires/leads are placed on the head all around.  These leads read the electrical activity of the brain.  When there are surges, it is picked up.  We have it running while they are awake and watch them as they transition into sleep.  There are some who are so sensitive, that flashing lights can trigger a seizure.  Migraine patients can get bothered by light.  Can it be possible that the flashing activity of a television screen set up and irritate the nervous system so that they are susceptible to trying to shut down, internally, all that external stimulation?

Quiet time is a necessary break from day to day stimulation.  We need to return to the old fashioned simpler time of just spending time to teach and interact with our infants and children.

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