To TV or Not To TV

Though not a lot, but a little has changed in the past one month. Lately I realized that life is never the same. A year back life was different. Two years ago it was even more diversified. And life was poles apart ten years ago than what it is today. As they say the only thing constant is change.

One important change having taken place lately is absence of television at home. Yes. We are not having television for over a month, and I hope we are not going to have one anytime soon either. Ironically, as it may sound, I haven’t felt any compulsion to own one either. In fact I wasn’t much into it even when we had one, it used to be the hourly news bulletin I’d tune into occasionally or would enjoy whatever my kids would be watching. Since my wife isn’t TV addict so no pressure from her to own a tv :-). I haven’t been anti-tv, nor am I now. I grew up watching black ‘n’ white television. It was only at the beginning of 21st century that I witnessed the advent of satellite television, and the entry of international tv channels in every home.

I have come to believe that an uncontrolled and easy access to the tube can have adverse effects on my kids’ ability to think out of the box and perform well in other aspects of life. I just found its confirmation on that the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages watching television during infancy and recommends not more than two hours per day beyond age 2. It seems that every extra hour beyond that has a remarkably negative influence.” My second kid was addicted to watching cartoons and kids’ dramas (fantasy and fairytales), he would just sit glued nearer to the television screen and won’t give remote control to anyone. He would rarely go out and play with other kids. I seriously viewed his lack of going out and playing with other kids, and wanted to close down the television for good. But I could not.

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Then that flood also caused disconnection of cable tv network. Taking hold of the opportunity, I told my kids that there wasn’t going to be tv anymore, they’d rather get timed access to my personal computer (there is nothing really personal in it though) where they can play games or watch cartoons or any other of their favorite programs during the allotted time. Now I have control over the amount of time they should spend playing games and watching dramas. I have found them engaged more in physical games than sitting idly in front of the screen.

I too used to watch cartoons with all the interest and inquisitiveness when I was kid, but during those times PTV used to have only one hour dedicated to kids programs and we kids were left with no choice but to engage in games that involved exploring the environment outside and interacting with other people. Even in villages today, despite the intrusion of cable tv network, kids do undertake corporal games and are found to be fit and healthier. Whereas the kids in bigger cities are finding it hard to resist so much entertainment in the box and go out and play.

I hope this is going to have a very positive impact on my kids. Notwithstanding anything, I am going to go without television for some time.



3 thoughts on “To TV or Not To TV

  1. Julie says:

    I think you’ve made the right decision regarding a contentious subject matter. I have a little one, and though he’s never been allowed to watch a lot of TV, there was one day which really frightened me: he was sitting right in front of the TV without blinking, and could not acknowledge that I was speaking to him. I found that to be very disturbing, for him to be disengaged from his surroundings like that. That was when I got rid of the TVs. Since that has happened, he never complains of being bored anymore. He’s always engaged in something physically or mentally or both. Building, creating, playing, learning – all those things which TV takes away from a child. I would go so far as to say that TV steals a child’s childhood, if watched too much. Now, there are the computers, in which he is given a small amount of allotted time (but perhaps that’s still too much?). Still weighing that one out…

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