This was first published on Mom and Me - one stop shop for Moms and kids.
When we were kids, there were not many options as far as TV programmes were concerned. But I clearly remember when I would return from school, the time taken by me to finish my lunch would be directly proportional to the duration of the programme I was watching while having my lunch.
In the current scenario, with enough number of channels and umpteen numbers of programmes supposedly for kids, one can end up watching TV the entire day. I have other examples in my nephew and niece who don’t even bat their eyelids while watching TV!
Of course, there are arguments that kids learn a lot while watching these programmes, which they can very well do otherwise too. And the kids become so influenced by the cartoon or animated characters that slowly you get sucked into a whole world of kiddie merchandise and theme parties and well, what not!
Besides, being very addictive, I have another issue with TV programmes, sometimes they are full of pre-conceived notions and prejudices. Why should we condition the mind of our kids to think in a certain way or have certain opinions about say gender, race, etc. Our kids should have the opportunities to form their own opinions.
I also have strong objections to the kind of advertisements which are shown in between these so-called kid-programmes, junk food packaged in the form of multi-nutrient healthy snacks and milk supplements which promise to fulfill all nourishment required for kids, to name a few. Kids are shown making faces at veggies, which may be true in real life but I still find it mental conditioning of kids. Kids are influenced by their peer group. Moreover, many times certain ads are not even suitable for kids.
My baby is just 10 months old right now, and so far I have resisted the temptation to make him sit in front of TV and finish my chores. It is a vicious circle really. When my parents or in-laws are visiting, I am unable to stop them from switching on the TV but meal time is strictly no-TV time for my baby. No matter who is watching the TV at that time, it has to be switched off.
I have chosen to be a stay-at-home-mom and I think we, my baby and me, can both benefit by spending more time playing and doing activities together like singing, talking, etc. TV takes the attention away from kids and at such tender age, it can be hazardous too!
I know TV is great in moderation, everything is, but in a perfect world. I wouldn’t mind letting him watch Discovery channel or Animal Planet when he is older.
What are your views on TV?