Thursday, 5 April 2012
Should you raise your child without television?
It would be unwise to try to raise your child without television, and probably impossible, even if you wanted to. You would have to keep him under your watchful eye twenty-four hours a day for eighteen years with no baby-sitters, day-care, sleep overs with friends, formal schooling, or time spent away from home with relatives, neighbours or friends.
This social isolation would be far more harmful to him than being allowed to see carefully-chosen television programs. Television is such a pervasive part of the modern world, it is almost impossible to avoid it.
Besides helping a child grow physically, it is a parent's duty to help him grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Television can be an invaluable aid in all these areas. Early childhood programs will introduce letters, numbers, and simple stories in a colourful and enchanting way, providing a basis for later mathematics and language skills.
As the child matures, he can be guided to recognize effective methods of characterization and plot development in stories. Unfamiliar words can be explained, or looked up in a dictionary, thus expanding his vocabulary.
Operations with numbers may be introduced, presented and reviewed through educational programs. Channels dedicated to children sometimes present features which are helpful in introducing the basics of measurement, algebra, geometry and other mathematical concepts.
Geography programs on television will bring the world, its people with their customs and lifestyles into living rooms, providing unparalleled opportunities to compare and contrast other cultures with our own. Parents can explain their own points of view about other beliefs and traditions in a rational and relaxed manner.
Television familiarizes children with elements of our own culture too: traditional Christmas stories, Bible stories, literary classics, music, dance and other expressions of the arts. It would be very expensive and extremely time-consuming to give a child such wide and varied exposure to such cultural experiences without the aid of television.
From news programs, which bring Current Events classes to life, to documentaries which highlight persons and issues important to society, television brings the world to the child. A wise parent will make himself available to guide and structure the child's understanding and reaction to the issues presented. As well as a teaching tool, TV can be a vehicle to promote quality family time, a diversion from which every participant will benefit.
Last but not least, television provides entertainment. Everyone needs some downtime. On weekends and after school, before Homework beckons, and while parents are occupied elsewhere, many networks provide child-appropriate fare.
These programs promote socialization skills, instill values through unique situations which the children find interesting, relevant, and just plain fun. Your relatives' and neighbours' kids enjoy all the benefits television has to offer . It's unfair and unwise to deprive your children of the advantages which carefully-guided T.V. viewing holds for the every member of the younger generation.