TV and kids

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.

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2 thoughts on “TV and kids”

  1. I have eliminated TV watching in our house. I can’t stand it. The only shows we have been watching lately is our boxed DVD set — Little House on the Prairie. Actually our whole family enjoys the show, so it isn’t bad at all. I have come to a point in my life where I see all the bad stuff on TV and all the things that the media is trying to shove down my kids throats. For instance when my kids watch public television–that is one station that just drives me mad. There was a program on called “Big Big World”. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but its just so PC. There is a bird in the show and it eats leaves. No worms for this birdy. Then there is an anteater who does not eat ants. What now?? Oh my goodness. My kids are going to grow up and think that anteaters love ants. Silly! While I understand they want to embrace that all animals and creatures are lovable, lets face it–animals eat other animals! My daughter recently was at my mom’s house and a nature program came on the TV. I came to the realization that my daughter does not know enough “facts” about life. She started crying when a bear was eating a deer. So this is what PBS has done to my daughter–taught her to be a vegetarian!! I had to sit down with her and explain that this is how God made animals. Bears eat deer and other animals to survive. We eat cows, pigs, chicken etc. I shut the TV off and we read now. No more TV education unless it is approved by me. Anyway, good for you for putting the TV off to the side. I wish I had done it a looooong time ago!

  2. I have heard of the “Big, Big World” but I didn’t watch it and I can’t believe that an anteater doesn’t eat ants. How in the world did they pull that one off??? My kids look outside especially after a good rain to see the birds swoop down to eat the worms.

    That is a shame to dumb down the children with a show that is truly not factual in its content. I guess Charlotte Mason would consider that show to be definite twaddle.

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