As it is made out to be??
I don’t think so. I know there will be many of you who think otherwise. Many of you may be from the school of thought that believes television stunts a child’s imagination. But I believe excessive viewing of television is what hampers a child’s functioning.
If a child spends most of his time in front of the TV then it is definitely going to harm him/her. If a child is told to watch TV because his/her parents don’t want to be disturbed while they chat with their friends on phone, or they want to go out somewhere, or they are simply too busy to attend to their little one, then yes, the child is being given a message that watching TV is the only worthwhile thing to do.
And this approach is adopted by not just the parents,mind you. I’ve seen care-givers like grand-parents, nannies/baby-sitters too, relying heavily on the tube when faced with the challenge of pacifying a wailing child or feeding a fussy-eater. TV is even what many turn to, to make children sit through while they go about doing their chores.
What I’m trying to say is we, adults, are the ones who drive our children to the point of addiction for television. If we know how to make use of TV in a constructive way, our children have much to learn from this medium.
I can cite my daughter as an example. She is a huge fan of Barney & Dora. The reason R & I acknowledge her watching the series is because Namnam gets to learn a lot from it. These shows are interactive that teach kids about alphabets, numbers, nursery rhymes with great deal of fun thrown in. They impart strong positive messages about values, good manners, optimistic attitudes by way of songs, skits & dance routines.
And another character she eagerly looks forward to watching everyday is Mister Maker. He is the one who helps her with her penchant for craft and painting. The amazing part is he always advises to make use of things that are available at home. He stresses a lot on recycling and re-using which I believe is a very valuable lesson that Namnam can imbibe.
So these are the shows that Namnam ardently watches. That’s not to say that she is glued to them through the day. She gets to watch TV for about an hour and half every day. That’s a condition R & I have laid down for her & ourself so that she gets a chance to indulge in other things too with as much fun.
This way she is able to grasp important lessons from the TV shows and put them to use in her life just like she gains more and more knowledge and gets to widen her imagination when R & I read books to her or when she plays with her blocks or creates shapes with clays.
I’m not saying this is the right approach to handle children. I’m no authority on that. But it has worked well for my child.
So long as we, as parents know how to keep the TV sets from ruling us and our children, then I feel there’s no harm in having them in our lives.