Monday, December 19, 2005

TV my drug of choice

I confess tv is my drug of choice when life is stressful. When things are bad with Little T, I watch a lot of tv. In the hospital, at home holding him being human pillow. When life gets too overwhelming and talking about it just won't help, I watch tv.

As drugs go, it's wonderful. It lets you forget about life for a while. It relaxes you. It produces a trance like state similar to that found in a good narcotic. Then you can turn the damn thing off,and except for having wasted some time, there are no side effects. And you might even learn something.

The righteous parents who decry how tv rots children's brains must have forgotten how much tv they watched as kids. The studies that show kids IQs dropping or speech delays with a few hours of tv a week seem extremely flawed to me. They are often based on self-reported data. Sure if you sit your child in front of the tv all damn day, their brain will rot. Not necessarily because of the tv watching, but because kids need stimulation besides tv. Or maybe the parents of kids with problems sit them in front of tv because they don't know what else to do with them. These parents will probably not admit in a survey that their child watches tv all day. Instead they'll respond a few hours a week like the rest of us.

Both my children watch tv as part of a balanced diet of activities. Special K also eats candy as part of a balanced diet of food. I feel sorry for those kids who never get to watch tv. I regard them the same as the child who never got to eat candy growing up. She was always sneaking candy, because it was this forbidden treat. Once your kids go to school, you can not escape tv or candy, so you may as well teach your kids to be responsible consumers.

3 comments:

Jenny said...

For me, it's also important what Sam watches. Lately he's been interested in Todd's World, and the short Ready, Set, Learn with the penguins that comes on right beore it. The penguins are adorable, and Todd's world shows some classic tricky childhood situations and how kids can deal with them effectively. Sam likes them, and I think they're good TV.

Dee said...

As usual, you are so right! I often wonder if it's some parents wanting to feel like they're one level above everyone else w/ the tv free brag. It's about moderation. Also, imo, the parents who flip the tv on junk cartoons only are as bad as those who restrict tv 100%. It's akin to letting your child eat nothing but chocolate and chips as their diet.

Thida said...

Yeah I agree that it's also important what my kids watch and I think what they watch is educational like Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer and The Wiggles, but I think all the shows I've seen for preschoolers are educational. They're so young that almost any show that I can stand to watch will teach them something.