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Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.

Too much TV

Posted 06-26-08 at 05:31 PM by Grafter
I believe children today are allowed to watch too much television. Most kids will say they have a TV in their bedroom where they can watch whatever programming they desire, at any given time, and for as long as they choose. Some parents allow the TV in their children’s room to be a “nightlight” that will keep them from being afraid of the dark. I have made the decision that my kids will not spend numerous hours a day watching TV. Besides not having televisions in the bedrooms of my house, another step I have taken to assist me in minimizing the use of television in my home is to not subscribe to cable programming.

When we purchased our home, the first decision we made was that there would not be televisions in any of our bedrooms. This was our home, and we did not want each individual holing up in a separate room away from everyone else. This did not fit into my idea of how a family should interact with each other. We also decided that we do not have any need for hundreds of channels of programming. In my home, there is one television in the living room with a “bunny-ear” antennae connected to it. There is also a television, Playstation2, DVD player, and VCR in the extra bedroom of our home, which we have turned into an entertainment room. These are the only televisions in the house. Although there are cable connections in each room of our home, we do not subscribe to cable. The programming available does not justify the amount of time my kids would waste when they could be living their own life, instead of watching a fictitious character living theirs.

Growing up in the seventies, I remember four television channels. There were three network channels and PBS. My family had one television. That was all that was needed. I also remember that we would all sit together and watch certain shows together such as M*A*S*H or Happy Days. Saturday mornings were a treat for my sister and I because that was when we could sit and watch four hours of cartoons. Once the cartoons were over, our time sitting in front of the television was over. As a child, I spent much of my youth at the baseball fields or riding my bike. I had a sandbox in which huge empires were built and tragically destroyed by meteors, floods, and the occasional giant. My friends from the neighborhood and I would spend hours in active, imaginative play. I do not expect that I can recapture my past and make it my children’s current reality. I can, however, push my children to search for other means of entertainment by limiting and eliminating the option of constant television viewing.

I do believe that the type of programming available for children to watch today is less age appropriate than it was when I was growing up. This becomes apparent in the recent need for tools now required by federal law to be installed in all televisions such as the V-chip, which allows a parent to block certain programs. Although my inquiries are far from being a scientific study, I have not yet met anyone who uses the V-chip technology. It appears that the federal government believes that adults need more assistance keeping inappropriate programs on television away from the eyes of our children. For the record, I don’t use the V-chip. But, by keeping my kids from watching television at all times, as well as restricting the channels available in the house, I do not have a need for it. By not having TVs in every room, I am fully aware of what my children are watching, and for how long.

I will admit there is plenty of great programming on cable TV. Cable television is like any other tool; its level of value is entirely dependent on how it's used. There are programs that have great educational value for both children and adults. New worlds and ideas are shown on a daily basis on some of the channels. However, in my opinion, the amount of quality programming is minute compared to the amount of non-informative and distasteful programming that is available. Television, with the plethora of programming available, has become a babysitter of sorts for parents while they attempt to accomplish other tasks. I refuse to allow my children to be raised by Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.

By taking an active role in monitoring what my kids see on television and the amount of time they are allowed to watch it, I believe they are much more active, both physically and mentally. Not being able to tell my kids to go watch a show while I have been working on this paper hasn’t been easy. While in the process of writing this paper, they have interrupted me at least a dozen times. I’ll be joining them soon. When I do, I can assure you that we will be playing a board game or working on some group project together. We will not be arguing about what show we want to watch in our individual cubby holes.
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Comments

  1. Old
    meadd823's Avatar
    I do not believe TV's and bedrooms mix -
    Posted 07-29-08 at 06:12 AM by meadd823 meadd823 is offline
  2. Old
    Lady Lark's Avatar
    Not at all. The day my kids ask for a TV in their room is the day I die in a freak laughing incident. I don't even let Steven take his DS into his room.
    Posted 09-09-08 at 11:31 AM by Lady Lark Lady Lark is offline
  3. Old
    Addr68's Avatar
    Gave you five stars on this blog entry bro! I gree with all you said and HOW you said it.. kudos! addr68
    Posted 01-19-09 at 06:09 PM by Addr68 Addr68 is offline
  4. Old
    Turbochica's Avatar
    We do not have TVks in any of our bedrooms, or computers. They are centrally located in the main rooms of the house and are shared by all.

    IMaginative paly is encouraged and often a part of my kids lives. They read lots, write, draw and sure play computer games. Too. But all this activoity is in the same rooms as the rest of the family and easily interupted by all.
    Posted 06-15-09 at 05:45 PM by Turbochica Turbochica is offline
 
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