I wrote a blog on my site back in October 2009 about young children and television and still stand strong that children should have limited time in front of the television, especially at such a young age, and especially before the age of two.
Now, before the criticism kicks in, I will openly admit that I have exposed my daughter to television mostly when she was and is not feeling well, during breathing/nebulizer treatments, and sometimes in the mornings when I need to get ready for work. But, I will also say that I do try to limit the amount of television Sarah watches as she has a much better time imagining and creating on her own, and with family and friends.
Our children can still develop a quality relationship and friendship with the wonderful characters we see on television or in movies even without watching them. Our house if filled with stuffed animals of all different kinds. For example, some of the Sesame Street gang became instant friends with Sarah once she started playing and talking with them. She especially loves reading to them. Elmo is my personal favorite, not so much from my past, but because of his fun, bold, red color and adorably cute voice. I felt he became hard to resist. It appears Sarah felt the same way.
There are many wonderful characters on television and in the movies that can become our children's favorites and comforts. Reading to our children about them and listening to music are other great ways to expose them to the power of these lovable creatures that have come into the homes of many.
For example, when Sarah hears the I Love You song sung by Barney she instantly comes up to me and hugs me. While I don't like Barney, Sarah seems to, and who could resist a hug from their little one. I like that Sarah has made a connection with this big purple dinosaur that involves her connecting with others especially when she's affected by his music.
Sing, dance, read, listen to music and color with crayons, markers and paint these special characters with children. These are all great ways for them to become connected and build friendships with new friends all year round and for years to come.