Sunday, January 22, 2006

Is Television Harmful for Children? YES: The Trouble with Television

The author of this article suggests that although parents are distressed about the amount of television their children watch, they continue to allow their children to watch television because it serves many purposes. One main purpose is that it is a very easy way to keep children occupied. The author argues that there are eight ways that television has a negative impact on children and family life.

The two that I found most interesting and thought-provoking were: 1) TV allows kids to grow up less civilised and 2)TV makes children less resourceful. I found these two points interesting because when thinking of the influence that TV has on children the first things that come to my mind are; children are becoming less active, less interactive, less attentive in school. I hadn't ever thought of the other two consequences of television named above. The author argues that parents are less firm with their children and instead of being assertive and turning off the television, they use television as a way to keep their children occupied. Parents are too tired to instead teach their children how to play alone without relying on television for entertainment. Another consequence of this is that kids become less resourceful because they are not taught or encouraged to think of alternate activities to keep themselves occupied. This lack of creativity is very sad.

I completely agree with the author. I remember back to my childhood and although I did watch TV, I remember spending summer afternoons outside playing hide and seek and rainy days inside making up music videos and skits. Children nowadays spend so much time in front of the television; there is always something interesting to watch and if not, there are tons of movies to pop in.

I feel that parents need to take a step up and take the time to engage in other activities with their children and show them how to be creative and find fun things to do in their free time. As teachers, we need to be aware of the enormous influence that TV is having on our student's lives and encourage parents to spend time working with their children on homework every night, before allowing them to watch TV.

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