Farewell to the Television

TV For Sale June 09

Today we say goodbye to our cable contract.  Yippee!

Since I noticed Kazuo being attracted to the vivid and constantly changing images on the television, I have made a point of keeping it off whenever he is awake.  And to be honest, I don’t turn it on during his nap times anyway.  So really, the only time it has been turned on over the past couple of months, has been when Akira has been watching sport in the evenings.  So it seemed a waste to be paying a premium for previously essential viewing like HBO and BBC America.  We just don’t go there anymore.  Though I suspect in the winter we may miss the Discovery Channel…

But the AAP has also issued a media statement that urges Pediatricians to advise parents to avoid TV fpr their children until after 2 years… and then to be involved and discerning media-savvy parents who discuss what is viewed/found online with your children.  Although this is an example of ultra-conservative over-protection that is prevalent in this country, for once, I agree.  And the idea that the child’s room should remain an electronic media-free environment makes excellent sense.

The PBS has also summarised some of the research on this issue, and it seems that most of the issues with early childhood viewing are related to adolescent obesity, sedentary behaviour, attention deficiencies, slower language development and other developmental delays.  Much more research needs to be done into these areas as the jury seems definitely out on how linked TV exposure is to some of these problems.  However, given that there also does not seem to be any major gain in watching TV for the very young, I am happy to take a conservative approach with Kazuo for now.

We had long periods without the TV when I was growing up… and I do not feel that having or not having TV made any real difference as our lives were active, imaginative and full of healthy play.  That is what I want for Kaz in the long run.

In the short term, we stand to save big time on the cancelled cable… and might invest in a decent PC with a good video card so that we can watch the odd sporting/nature/comedy programme online in the winter months.

Bye bye telly… we will not miss you in our lounge!

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