Friday, October 14, 2005

Why Parents Should Let Their Kids Watch TV

My friend Aviva recently called up Shannon and Caleb and Caleb answered the phone. He was raised without much TV. Aviva decided to play a trick on him and said, "This is Ed McMahon's office calling..." and before she could say "to give you a million dollars" he hung up the phone on her with a dismissive, "NO THANKS!"

She called him back and asked, "Have you even heard of Ed McMahon?"

He replied, "no"

She said, "Dude, if Ed McMahon calls you, it is to give you a million dollars so next time dont hang up the phone"

And that, according to Aviva, is why parents should let their children watch TV!

Which makes me wonder. So much of our culture is based on TV. I can recall being at a party once in another state surrounded by people I didnt know who had grown up thousands of miles away from me. But we all started talking about The Brady Bunch and realized that we all had shared a common childhood experience. And the conversation made me feel connected to these people who were otherwise strangers. Maybe TV and other shared mass media experiences unites us as a culture and as a nation. Certainly it does more than wars in Iraq and other foreign nations.

Sure, too much TV is a bad thing but maybe a little bit now and then is a good idea. I am not a parent so I never have to make such decisions for a kid and truthfully, I probably wouldnt allow too much TV because I have grown completely intolerant of commercial inturuptions. My dogs are allowed to watch as much TV as they want, of course, but for some reason prefer to watch the squirrels out of the window.


judypatooote said...

I like you logic, and I like your post....

Lisa said...

i have no experience with my own kids, but my baby kitten watches TV with interest. (animal planet, naturally)
If one changes the channel, he will turn to glare, and if one walks in front of the TV, he crans his neck around so he can still see.
So far, I haven't noticed any adverse effects from his continued television addiction.
great post!

island Jen said...

They did a 10 year study (I can't remember who 'they' were) and found that children that watched TV were NOT any worse off mentally than their deprived counterparts. Also they found that in Finland where the children's channels all had mandatory close captioning that a lot of children knew how to read before school age.
My daugther is brilliant and she has been a TV watcher since 6 months old when she got the Baby einstein series. Of course i am her mom and I'm just a tad biased :0)

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