Monday, June 2, 2008

TV in moderation -- Kerry Trevelyan

Actually, no, this might be a good forum for a discussion, so I'll put Kerry's comments here:

Last night we talked a lot about NOT letting our kids watch TV, and all of the comments were completely valid. I kept thinking about how we could spin something negative, yet completely prevalent in our society, into something positive and useful. We watch TV in our house, even some of the mainstream shows, but the difference is, that I don't use the TV as a 'babysitter'--there is some value of watching programs together, as a family, and talking about things that are happening...making it into an active rather than passive experience. We need to teach our kids to deconstruct the advertising that they see in the media, because that is an invasive part of our that you can't avoid if you don't watch TV. Luckily my kids are still at the Treehouse stage, which doesn't have commercials trying to sell them things; but even then, I noticed the other day that McDonald's has cleverly inserted an 'active moment' which is a commercial in disguise. I liked Angela's comment about moderation, because really, we need to teach the kids about understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly about popular culture, and self regulate their own involvement in that. So, I say YES TV, in moderation, and as a group experience--I just wanted to add a point of view for the other side!


Amanda said...

I think that is a valid point. I have chosen no tv in our house as a personal choice, but my son watches it with his grandparents and friends.

With regard to tv and computers etc I think it is great to teach kids how to enjoy them in moderation so that they are prepared when they are out on their own. I think that was what Angela was saying and I thought it was a great point.

I know I was pretty negative about tv - that is just my own personal point of view. I just find that I have so little spare time that I don't want to spend it watching tv. I apologize if I was offensive - I certainly don't mean to judge anyone who chooses to watch tv.

My son watched television when he was at the Treehouse age and I thought it was quite benign. I started to have an issue with it once he got to the YTV stage. The shows were junk really and the commercials were incessant. I think it also depends on the child's personality. My son has a bit of an obsessive tendency so he started to be consumed by wanting to watch tv and wanting all the toys he saw on commercials.

All in all I think it is one of those decisions that is unique to each family dynamic.

Thanks for your insight.

Mary-Sue said...

People tend to feel pretty strongly about screen time, don't they? I know I do, and so often the things I'm passionate about come out too strongly. I'm so glad you feel free to speak up here, Kerry, and hope you feel free to speak up in meetings too. I know it's sometimes impossible to get your word in edgewise at meetings, but I really appreciate you putting your point of view out there for all of us to consider. One of the things I love about our group is that people are passionate about their views and their lives. They're also very respectful and open about how other people choose to live, although we all need to be reminded sometimes that there IS another way.
Personally, I sometimes wish we had no electronics in our house, but that's never going to happen with my techie-loving-husband, so I appreciate the balanced view of using it in a positive way. I do enjoy watching videos with my family now and then, and I know that lots of people use TV in a very positive way. I can definitely see positives in TV that I can't see in video games.
Thanks for this, Kerry!