Sunday, June 13, 2010

The evil TV

I went to a wonderful brunch this morning and I noticed an important piece of furniture missing from the living room, the TV.

That got me thinking, how did the TV get such a bad rep?  I know there's a whole anti-tv movement but where did it come from? Is it a backlash from families watching in the 1950s?  Kid watching in the 60s?  TVs being on all over the nation all the time in the 80s and 90s. I blame Mtv and rap. I just had to throw that last one in there. 

But why hate television? What did it ever do to you? Why is it "bad" for our children.  I understand if the parents don't enjoy TV but why deprive their kids. I don't particularly like yogurt but I let my 3 year old eat it.  You must understand, I'm a TV person. I like TV. I like turning it on for my kids to watch. I like that it babysits them for free for a good 30 minutes while I get dinner started and the laundry done. 

The bigger question is why is it considered bad?  I strongly agree that kids shouldn't be inside all day glued to the television.  Video games, another TV related issue, should not be the main form of entertainment.  On the other hand, having your kids in 10 different activities, such as: singing class, judo, cheer, tap, violin, Spanish and so on, isn't healthy either. Kids are not executives and shouldn't have 12 out of the 24 hrs a day scheduled with activities.  They need the downtime just like we do. 

When we're at home the TV is on at least half the time if not more.  I'd say at least half of that time, my boys aren't even paying attention to it.  They are excellent independent players. They play blocks, do puzzles, play playdoh, pretend play, look at books, etc etc. 

As for the intelligence thing, that's just a big old load of stinky poo. The TV doesn't make your kids stupid.  Your kid is either a little stupid or you need to actually spend some time playing with them. Playing is an excellent opportunity for learning.  

I know, I know, I can be a bit of a Snatch.  Your kid isn't stupid, just special. wink wink

Kids are like little molds of clay or monkeys, if you will.  You play and teach.  Later, you get them started on an activity, stay there for 15 to 20 minutes, and walk away. Let's be honest, we parents don't have the luxury of spending the day playing and we're not doing them any service by trying to. They need to learn to play on their own. 

For those of you who are going to use my clay/monkey logic against me, yes I will let the TV mold my boys a bit. I think Dora and Diego rock, Steve and Blue have a good thing going, and Mickey's Clubhouse is just plain cool.   You aren't going to convince me, I'm a TV person. We go way back to the neighborhood if you know what I mean.

Disclaimer:  My youngest is at the park twice a day during the week and my oldest once because he spends the afternoon at school. Balance.  Kids need to get outside too

1 comment:

  1. My daughter learned most of what she knows in life from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And I am grateful.