Electronic Entertainment

The Boob Tube

I picked up  the free April "Parent:Wise" and found a great article written by Anne Bannon called THE BOOB TUBE, Getting Educated about educational TV. A few thoughts from the article..... "In a sense, all shows are educational," says Elizabeth Vanderwater, a researcher in the College of Communications at UT-Austin. "It just depends on what we're trying to teach." Dr. Daniel Anderson, a developmental psychologist at the University of Massachusetts , Amherst , who studies television's impact on the cognitive development states that probably few kids have been hurt by not watching any TV.  Television's passive nature may be causing children to lost their natural affinity to imagine and play. Parents have noticed that children who watch TV act differently, play differently and are less connected to others.  IN 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study showing that children who watched TV from ages 1-3 had attention problems at age 7. Dr. Jerome Singer, a psychology professor emeritus at Yale University , has written extensively about television's effect on children's imaginary processes.  Dr. Singer has been blunt about TV for kids.  "Heavy TV viewing is a 'clear hazard' to children."  

I guess the real question is how well the kids are developing when the TV is turned off.  I have even thought about the effect that constant video entertainment during trips in the car may have on the children and wonder what the kids are missing when the video is on......

Prepare for Teen Years by Teaching Your Values Now

You are careful about the movies and videos that your child sees.  But now your fifth grader is going to a friend’s house.  You know that this friend is allowed to watch anything she wants.

Sooner or later, your child is going to meet up with families whose rules are different.  How can you teach your values while still allowing your child to be with others?  Here are some tips:

Make sure your child knows your rules.  Now is the time to build habits that you will want your child to follow when she becomes a teen.  She shouldn’t feel that she has to call you before she eats a second piece of pizza.  But if the kids are going bowling and no adult will be present, she should give you a call.

Take the rap.  If your child is going to a friend’s for a sleepover, call the parent.  As you’re asking about when you should pick up your child, ask some other questions.  “Will the kids be watching any R-rated videos while they’re at your house?”

You could then ask that the parent choose something else.  Or your child might even offer to bring a favorite video to share.

Loosen up a bit if you can.  A month from now, it won’t matter if your child ate an extra piece of birthday cake or stayed up past midnight.  Save your worry – and your effort – for the things that matter most.  Your child spends more time with you than anyone else.  In the end, it’s your values that will carry the day.

Parents make the difference