A recent article of ours (“TV time is not time well spent”) has given rise to much conversation about the pros and cons of children and TV viewing.
A number of our readers offered their comments, and we would like to share them with you. One account begins with a toddler screaming at her mother, “Mote, mote, mote!” The mother thought the child was asking for milk, but when she picked up the TV remote and saw the smile through the tears on her daughter’s face, she knew her child had learned an important new word!
Readers, why don't you ask Grandma and Grandpa what they did for fun on summer days and nights when Wii was still a pronoun spelled W-E?
Have we lost the battle with TV before we’ve even begun? The answer is no.
One reader suggests you need to have rules. In her house, the rule is the television remains off on school nights for her school-aged sons. Other parents have a problem with the Saturday morning ritual of TV, and say they come between the flat screen and the kids’ zombie faces and order them outside to play. Yet another reader, a grandmother, in her wisdom, suggested that TV is neither good nor bad, and it is all in the management. She will sit with her 2-year-old granddaughter and watch an educational program with her. Together they participate in the learning process, making the TV experience interactive and meaningful.
Our most thorough response to our request for comments regarding TV-watching habits came from a grandfather who had a very strong opinion about children watching television. James Blodgett wrote: “I babysit my grandchildren several times per week. My observation is that they get a lot from television. They learn language, and they learn about our culture. I notice that my granddaughter is getting jokes better, a sign of knowledge of the cultural facts on which jokes are based. It is hard to see how kids could avoid learning when they view TV shows that contain a lot of talking and a lot of stories based on our culture. Spongebob, for example, shows employer/employee relationships, business competition, various work ethics, and even high culture as exemplified by Squidward. If it presents these in a humorous manner, this is not a bad way to learn.”