Turn off the TV.
If you visit the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics (http://www.aap.org) and locate their page entitled “ Media and Children” here is what you will learn:
“Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.
Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. To help kids make wise media choices, parents should monitor their media diet. Parents can make use of established ratings systems for shows, movies and games to avoid inappropriate content, such as violence, explicit sexual content or glorified tobacco and alcohol use.
The AAP recommends that parents establish "screen-free" zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children's bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.”
And, then, their recommendation ---
“Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”
As Dr. Ben Carson would say, “This is not rocket science.” It is common sense. So, here is something that this one essayist does not grasp – we have politicians and bureaucrats all over the land commenting, propagandizing, assembling and legislating all sorts of rules and laws and guidelines on everything from the size of ammunition clips to the capacity of soft drink containers and the volume of water flowing through a toilet to the unusable and Rube Goldberg mandated “safety” cap on a gasoline can but we don’t hear about or see any publicity in our media about the importance of no TV watching by children under the age of 2 and limited TV thereafter.
Why could that be in a land with so many “public servants” dedicated to the well being, the very safety and development of our children? In case you missed the simple, really just common sense, guidelines, here they are, again:
· No TV for children under the age of 2
· Children and teens – one or two hours total for all entertainment media
· And then it should only be “high quality”
· No TV, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms
· No TV during dinner, and
· Parents should monitor the media diet of their children
It would not be such a bad thing, would it, if American political leaders spent more time on this topic and less time on those topics covered constantly by the very media and entertainment outlets that those who we turn to when our children are sick tell us we should be doing without? Put it another way – why is mayor Bloomberg on TV constantly, opining on everything that is not his business when his TV business is what he should be telling us to avoid?
American mediocrity – which is now abundant at all levels of governance – and education – and commerce – is well rooted in what our pediatric physicians call “entertainment media” and what TheFundamentals calls “Hollywood media.” In many ways, TV is much the same as what Bernanke and Obama offer us in their fiscal promiscuity – something for nothing. But TV does charge us a high toll – it’s called mediocrity. We simply spend too much time wandering this wasteland.
Turn off the TV - good for the kids - good for all