Children Away from Television
When John Logie Baird invented the
television in 1925, I'm sure he wouldn't have realized the profound effect
his invention would have on all aspects of human life!
Most people in now spend four hours
every day staring at a piece of furniture! The numerous channels and the
variety of soaps have people glued to their sets till late into the night.
With adults spending so much time front of the television, little wonder
that kids too spend more time in front of the idiot box than outdoors.
With families becoming more and more
nuclear, most mothers start off by using the television as a 'babysitter'.
Children as young as a year old are left in front of the TV to keep them
out of trouble while the mother cooks or bathes. The child soon plonks
herself in front of the TV whenever it is switched on and even needs the
TV to be on while eating. True, mothers can go about their work with the
assurance that their child will not get into trouble, but most parents
would rethink their strategy if they are aware of the side effects of over
exposure to the television.
Children watch on an average around
28 hours of television per week. This includes violence and viewing not
suitable for their age. By the age of eight, aggression becomes so ingrained
in a child that it predicts adult aggression. Moreover it has been found
that children who spend a lot of time in front of the television do poorly
in school and have poor eating habits. TV watching also reduces the time
children spend engaging verbally and socially with others and consequently
effects their intellectual and speech development.
Dr. Jerome Singer, a professor of
psychology at Yale University, suggests that parents view the TV as a stranger
in their house. This stranger, he says, teaches kids to punch and kick
their way through conflict resolution. This stranger tries to sell children
all kinds of products, some of which we may not approve. Just as we would
not allow a real uninvited stranger in our house, we need to think twice
about what strangers on the television are saying and doing to our children.
With television being such an integral part of our daily lives, its almost impossible to completely banish it from our child's life. However as parents we could:
Television eats up the time you
are not working or sleeping - ten years for the average person. All those
things you want to be: a lover, a parent, a scholar, a wild teenager or
a pillar of the community - when are you going to do all that? So stop
letting your children live in a make-believe world. Help them get a life
- a real one!
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