We shouldn’t use TV to baby-sit students
To the Editor:
The Jan. 6 front page photo made me feel sad. We should be ashamed, not proud of the putting our kids in this vegetated state. I thought I would share some things I have observed over the years.
I grew up in snow country. When the weather was bad, we also had to stay indoors during recess at school. We had so much fun interacting with each other that those memories have lasted a lifetime. We made paper airplanes, drew pictures, played “tag” in the gym, played games (that we made up), and I could go on and on. Our imaginations had no boundaries.
It has become such an accepted method of dealing with children, to sit them in front of televisions or video games, that parents and educators have become blind to how that limits children. A couple of the excuses adults make are: “Everybody does it” or “TV hasn’t hurt me.” There is always some justification to not deal directly with the youngsters. The children don’t know you need “me time.” Another excuse is that kids will learn hand-eye coordination playing video games. Isn’t playing a musical instrument good for hand-eye coordination?
Kids go visit their friends, and the focus of the visit is to sit and watch a movie, or play video games. Think about it. Are they interacting with each other directly, or by some electronic means? Have you ever wondered why lying is so prevalent. If you aren’t forced to look someone in the eye, it is easy to fabricate a tale so you won’t have to answer for your bad behavior. If they don’t have to face reality, their bad actions will always be someone else’s fault, not their own.
An example of TV and video game abuse: A cousin of mine teaches 6th grade in Los Angeles. Her students read at the 2nd grade level. After weekends, it takes a whole day to get the kids to stop talking about what they watched on TV and what video games they played. During recess, a lot of them just sit and look at each other, because they are not learning to relate properly with others.
When our grandchildren come to our house, the television has NEVER been turned on. They are busy using their imaginations building forts, drawing pictures, doing crafts, sewing, pounding nail etc.
Some adults are under the impression that they need to keep the children busy every second of the day. It is healthy for them get bored once in a while. Watch them, and soon they will come up with something to pass the time. Children are very inventive, if allowed to be.
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