Today we read The First Music and it was a hoot. It helps to be overly animated while reading this book about sounds in an African jungle as elephants, monkeys, cranes on the backs of crocodiles, frogs and other animals make music. DS (3) was repeating the words after the first 3 pages. It was truly a delightful read that we will do again with our shakers (great for imitating the monkey noise in the tree) and some other items to do our band.
So dh is away at the men’s retreat and I am watching “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” with my dad as we took a quick visit to my parents and they always have the TV on. So, on comes a commercial and the children are acting rowdy in a cafeteria setting and the person in charge (teacher) pulls down a small video screen from the ceiling and instantly all of the children stopped acting rowdy and they stare with glazed over eye balls at the screen. Instant order has been restored…..the commercial is for Chrysler and they are advertising a free DVD in your new minivan promotion.
There is an awesome quote in The Well-Trained Mind about the different brain capacity needed for watching TV versus reading but my book is at home. 😦 However, I am reading For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and she stated back in 1984, “the average American child (and the British child doesn’t lag too far behind) spends more time in front of the TV set than he ever spends at school.” In light of the proliferation of video games,X boxes and PS gazillion, I am sure that the amount of time has only increased since 1984.
Now, I do have a player in my van (VHS not DVD came with it when we purchased it used) and I do use it when we make long trips as being in a car seat is not the most exciting life for a 3 and 4 year old. However, I do limit what they watch, usually 1 movie and 1 educational video (Magic School Bus like). My issue is not with the DVD in the car as much is it is with the glazed over look on the children and how they were just lulled into some sub-conscious state of compliance.
If you recall, I did take a fast from the TV and my children became a part of that and quite honestly they have not missed any shows that they did watch previously. I am sure that they will watch some of those shows again but as dh and I model a life before them in which life doesn’t revolve around the TV it is our hope that they will realize that TV is not the end all be all. I do not think that all TV is bad, but I do think there needs to be balance and children need to learn that early on so it will prayerfully stay with them for life.