Turn Off the Tube
This is the time of year when we are supposed to shut off the TV for a week and find better things to do.
Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatricians and Physicians for Social Responsibility and the National Educator’s Association want us to think about the children and how fat they’re getting because they’re not playing as much as kids did in the olden days.
Between Saturday (April 22) and April 28, the TV Turnoff Week folks want us to ponder how by age 16, kids in America have seen 200,000 televised acts of violence and 18,000 dramatized killings.
There are scores of good reasons to keep the TV dark for a week, but TV Turnoff Week officially is about helping your kids think outside the idiot box. And perhaps, that can have an effect on adults, as well.
Melbourne child psychologist Dr. Vicki Panaccione says one week of no TV doesn’t do much to instill lifelong viewing habits. But it sure can force a mom or dad to think more creatively.
“It can heighten parents’ awareness and realization of just how much TV their children are watching,” said Panaccione, who believes many parents “are being held hostage by the TV.”
By the way, don’t give yourself any pats on the back because you’re spending more time watching the stupid human tricks via short clips on Google Video and YouTube.
“I lump all this electronic stuff together and say there should be limits on all if it,” she says. “I’m seeing more kids today who are angry, who are aggressive, because they are missing the developmental aspect of (social) interaction and using their imagination.”
She advises parents organize play dates where children can interact in a safe, supervised environment.
Record favorite shows and use them as rewards when kids finish chores or homework. Parents who allow kids their own TV should at least ax the cable.
As published in Florida Today.
© MMVI Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D.