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An interesting observation re: TV watching - Page 5

post #81 of 173
Greaseball my issue with your PP would be brain activity. Reading and homework require it. TV does not.

Quote:
When you watch TV, brain activity switches from the left to the right hemisphere. In fact, experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman showed that while viewers are watching television, the right hemisphere is twice as active as the left, a neurological anomaly. The crossover from left to right releases a surge of the body's natural opiates: endorphins, which include beta-endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are structurally identical to opium and its derivatives (morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.). Activities that release endorphins (also called opioid peptides) are usually habit-forming (we rarely call them addictive). These include cracking knuckles, strenuous exercise, and orgasm. External opiates act on the same receptor sites (opioid receptors) as endorphins, so there is little difference between the two.
http://www.familyresource.com/lifestyles/10/166/

Quote:
First of all, when you're watching television the higher brain regions (like the midbrain and the neo-cortex) are shut down, and most activity shifts to the lower brain regions (like the limbic system). The neurological processes that take place in these regions cannot accurately be called “cognitive.” The lower or reptile brain simply stands poised to react to the environment using deeply embedded “fight or flight” response programs. Moreover, these lower brain regions cannot distinguish reality from fabricated images (a job performed by the neo-cortex), so they react to television content as though it were real, releasing appropriate hormones and so on. Studies have proven that, in the long run, too much activity in the lower brain leads to atrophy in the higher brain regions.

Nowhere can I find that reading or homework does this to your brain.
post #82 of 173
I've been following this thread and maybe I was naive, but I'm really shocked that anyone would think 28 hours a week -- 4 hours a day -- of being exposed to merciless commercial targeting is perfectly harmless for small children.

And it doesn't matter if it's PBS or videos. PBS has endorsements and commercial tie-ins now, and the vast majority of kids' videos are carefully engineered marketing ploys disguised as entertainment.

And corporations wouldn't spend billions of dollars on this kind of market targeting if it didn't work, i.e., effect your kids, the way they think and the choices they make.

And the argument that since it's there, it must be offered/allowed to the kids in eqivalency of other choices? I've got bleach and antifreeze in the house as well as orange juice and breastmilk. Should I offer all 4 of those things for my toddler to choose from next time she wants a drink?
post #83 of 173
Quote:
And the argument that since it's there, it must be offered/allowed to the kids in eqivalency of other choices? I've got bleach and antifreeze in the house as well as orange juice and breastmilk. Should I offer all 4 of those things for my toddler to choose from next time she wants a drink?
The only problem with this is it doesn't make any sense. My child has free reign over what to eat and it never occurred to me to offer the trash bin or the lint filter! Though if I were eating lint, then I guess to be fair I'd have to give my child that right too! Gee, I hope it never comes to that!

Someone mentioned liquor...I do not keep liquor in the house and I do not drink it out of the house...so therefore I feel OK about not allowing my child to have it. (Besides, that's illegal. No one in our household has the right to do anything illegal.) I sometimes eat ice cream for breakfast; therefore my child is allowed to do this if she wants. If I don't want her to have it, then I give it up as well. That way it's fair.

And I'm still not convinced that TV-watching has ruined my child's brain or my brain...but then, maybe TV has just rotted my brain! :LOL I'm really not concerned that my child sees a bunch of cereal commercials on PBS. (She doesn't watch other networks.) She never asks for the cereals she sees...

Personally, I'd rather she watch something interesting and meaningful on TV than do a boring sheet of busywork from school.
post #84 of 173
Ok the question is why does it have to be either TV or busywork from school?

Why not real life, real world, first hand experience with the mom, dad or caretaker?


And just because she does not ask for cereal now does not mean she won't later. Also, what does she watch? Seasme Street? Does she like any characters from that show or any shows she is watching? A point I continue to make--advertisements are not just in the commercials, folks.

What about the brain activity info? Your research supersedes that? Just curious as no one responded to that.
post #85 of 173
Sometimes I just know better than any of the research out there and I don't have to say how or why I know. After all, this is only for my own child. If I were making decisions about your child, then you would have a right to know how and why I come up with my decisions, but not when it's just my child. There is research that says daycare is not harmful. I know that for my children it would be harmful. Other research says formula feeding, spanking, and CIO are not harmful. For my children, they are.

My dd watches Sesame Street and Dragon Tales. Sometimes she watches Teletubbies and Barney. Occasionally, Mr. Rogers and Between the Lions. She sometims watches episodes of the Simpsons that we tape; we pause for the ads. She recognizes characters. She sees characters in stores (and on cereal boxes!) and points them out. For some reason, I'm not concerned that I have ruined my child. Maybe someday I'll see that everyone else was right, but then it will be too late because she'll have ADHD and weigh 200 lbs!

If she asks for the cereal, she can have it. Hey, I buy whatever I want at the grocery store...I buy whatever dh wants...why not buy dd whatever she wants too?
post #86 of 173
My 4yo has free accesss to tv. He pretty much is only interested in the songs at the beginning of the show.

His super super most favorite of all time is Winx Club. He can sing the entire song. After the song is over he goes off to do as he pleases, mostly play toys and run around. (we do spend a lot of time out of the house too, we are members of every pay park in our neighborhood)

Did I mention that my son is pretty fluent in the foreign language of our new country just from watching the local cartoons? The neighbor said his grammar was perfect. Pretty good for less than 1 year being here.

Yeah, he sings the Winx Club song in the foreign language.

post #87 of 173
Just popping in to make a quick suggestion-

Perhaps the op's kids choose to watch 28 hours one week, and 4 the next, and none at all one week.

Perhaps some who TCS feel that TV might be a negative influence in some ways, but they feel that the trade off isn't worth it. It seems to me that if you have choosen a parenting strategy that allows your kids to make their own choices then yeah, you might think that a choice isn't the greatest, but you go with it, because the alternative is to be a bit half-arsed in your beliefs. And half-arsedness is pretty bad when it comes to family dynamics, imho.

I don't know, does anyone tcs without allowing tv watching?

Also, some of us might feel that tv is a pretty crappy influence, but that in the grand scheme of things it really isn't going to be the undoing of our kids.

Kaly
post #88 of 173
Quote:
Perhaps the op's kids choose to watch 28 hours one week, and 4 the next, and none at all one week.
That's true - I think when you average out a kid's TV time over a week or a month, it turns out to be not much. 4 hours a day is the absolute most for my dd, and most days aren't that much.

As far as TCS and unschooling...I suppose there is such thing as TCS/unschooling lite? I read a lot of posts that say things like "We are unschoolers but we don't allow our kids to do this or this or this and they must do a certain amount of x activity before proceeding to y activity..." or "We are TCSers but still the kids have to go to bed when we say so and brush their teeth when we say so and we pick out what's for dinner..." Uh, OK, I guess there are different degrees of everything. Or, most likely, people like the way a philosophy sounds but don't actually like the idea of applying it to their daily lives because after all, what if the kid wants to run out into the street and drink bleach and eat lint? :

There are all kinds of things I worry about when it comes to parenting decisions and my kids...TV is the least of those worries in my family. I would consider it a luxury if all I had to worry about was TV! :LOL
post #89 of 173
My kids saw very little TV as tots. They are now school aged and self-regulate. Their viewing habits vary widely -- from an hour or two a week when the weather is nice to nearly daily viewing during nasty weather, or when one of us is sick. I've also noticed that their viewing goes up when our family is under stress. So far today they've watched a 30 min. video from the library about subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meco
Ok the question is why does it have to be either TV or busywork from school?

Why not real life, real world, first hand experience with the mom, dad or caretaker?
I wonder this too. Perhaps back of the reason my kids are moderate TV watchers without my DH or I controlling it is because they are doing so many other things. We always have a read aloud book going as a family, they each of a book of their own going, there are always craft projects at various stages of completion, the dog need attention and training every day, the garden projects, etc. We nuture their interests and do fun things as a family.

I think there is a HUGE difference between kids like mine, who are self-regulating, are kids who can watch all the TV they want but no one is making sure they have much else going on.

I don't think the answer is for the parents just to turn off the TV. There needs to be something more -- like loading everyone in the car and heading to a park for a cook out.

Quote:
A point I continue to make--advertisements are not just in the commercials, folks.
My kids mostly watch Animal Planet, and my DH's favorite is the History Channel, so the ads they see are not usually aimed at kids (though they have come up with an extensive list of things we "need" to buy the dogs!) We talk about ads, hidden ads, marketing aimed at kids, etc. I did not allow them to watch shows with ads aimed at kids when they were too young to discuss this, and even now limit their exposure to that sort of thing. It is one thing to understand that they are trying to get you to buy things, it is another to be able to fight off the constant brain washing.

Quote:
What about the brain activity info? Your research supersedes that? Just curious as no one responded to that.
It just doesn't jive with what I see with my own kids. They don't turn into zombis. They ask questions, discuss, and want to research things further at the library.

Not all the TV watching is educational -- some is just for fun. We have family movie nights complete with popcorn. My kids have seen all the major kids films and every movie we can find with horses They love Faulty Towers.

One of the things that bothers me on this thread is the notion that some kids are more prone to sitting around watching TV and the answer is for the parents just to control it. To me, that is a short term plan. It doesn't answer the bigger question of how to raise a child so that when they are grown and have total control, they sometimes turn off the TV and do something else. I think the time to work on this is BEFORE the teen years. We've got a lot of tricky parenting stuff coming up and TV will be the least of our problems in a few years.
post #90 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
If she asks for the cereal, she can have it. Hey, I buy whatever I want at the grocery store...I buy whatever dh wants...why not buy dd whatever she wants too?
I'm not trying to pick on your specific statement, GB, but the sentiment behind it is one I see here so often. It's one I don't agree with and one that, frankly, leaves me

I do many, many things that I don't allow my kids to do. My kids don't have the size, the physical agility, the understanding of cause and effect, the ability to anticipate several possible outcomes, the understanding of the way the world works, etc., to do many of the things that I do. Is it unfair that I do things I won't allow my kids to do? Maybe if my kids were somehow never going to grow up and yet I continued to taunt them by doing things that they would never, ever have the chance to do, then it would maybe be unfair. But my kids will grow up, their understanding of the world, their size and physical agility and understanding of cause and effect, and their ability to make informed choices will increase. Then they can make their own choices about whether to do the things that I do now, as an adult. I feel no compulsion to try to level the playing field between me and my kids, because it's not a level playing field, and pretending it is is just that, pretending. To me, it comes down to the fact that kids are very different than adults, and it's perfectly fair to acknowledge that. In my mind, acknowledging that means not expecting them to make informed choices about things they can't truly understand.

Like with the South Park thing (I don't remember who posted about their small child watching South Park): someone had to introduce that show meant for adults to a small child in order for a small child to "choose" to watch that show. Is it necessary or beneficial to a small child to be allowed to choose to do something that's so clearly meant for an adult? In my mind, no, and to me the fact that the parents in question had to curtail their child's watching of the show because it was negatively influencing the child seems kinda like a no-brainer. If you put a kid in a situation that they aren't ready to handle, usually the outcome will be a poor one. In this case it sounds like the child was using unacceptable language, and the punishment, whether or not it's intended as one (it's very possoble the child will perceive it as one), is that the child can no longer watch this show. Would it perhaps have been better for the child, kinder to the child, not to put them in that situation in the first place?

Anyway, all this to say that the "it's not fair to treat kids differently that adults" argument just strikes me as bizarre.

Namaste!
post #91 of 173
You are right that my kids are older now (sorry meant to do the quote thing, but it got all dorked up lol) but we've always been this way. When they were young we followed thier lead even then in what they wanted to watch. If Dd hid behind a chair, covered her eyes, or cried because she was frightened about something on TV I'd talk to her about it, and then if I saw she was needing my help probably not turn that show on when she was around.

It's not all that different from now really. I don't like horror movies, so Ds and Dh don't watch them when I am around. They watch them in Ds's room on his TV, or when I am working outside or in the garage etc. We've never said that the kids could only have a half hour, or an hour or whatever per day or week. There's not been a time limit for them at all that I recall. There's not one for me either I wouldn't appreciate it if they said "OK, Mom you've had 2 hours of TV today. That's enough for you. Maybe you should go outside for awhile or read a book?" I don't think I need to be making that decision for them either. It's about respect for us, bottom line.

We don't have a problem with commercials or things like that. We discuss them alot. We roll our eyes at the silly ones, we laugh at the funny ones, we point out the obvious attempts by advertisers to make people think they need something. Occasionally we see something neat or interesting on a commercial too.
post #92 of 173
Quote:
Like with the South Park thing (I don't remember who posted about their small child watching South Park): someone had to introduce that show meant for adults to a small child in order for a small child to "choose" to watch that show. Is it necessary or beneficial to a small child to be allowed to choose to do something that's so clearly meant for an adult?
That was me...unless there is another one! I used to watch SP during the day when dd was taking her nap, and after her nap she would wander into the room and catch the tail end of it. She liked the cartoon characters, the way most kids probably would, and then when we saw her picking up the language we decided to take it away. She's never asked for it since...

And about kids being allowed to do everything the adults in the family do, that is just what works for us. Like I said, she's no longer allowed to watch SP, but she never asks for it anyway. I suppose if she did, we'd have to cross that bridge when we came to it and decide if we were going to stop watching it ourselves or if we were going to say "Do as I say, not as I do."

Maybe someone can think of something else, but right now, the only things I can think of that dd is not allowed to do are things that are illegal for her to do, things that she doesn't want to do in the first place, or things that dh and I don't do. She is not allowed to drive the car (illegal), to drink coffee (she doesn't want to), or drink alcohol (dh and I don't drink).

Maybe for families that drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, this would not work, but for now it works for us.
post #93 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
If she asks for the cereal, she can have it. Hey, I buy whatever I want at the grocery store...I buy whatever dh wants...why not buy dd whatever she wants too?
This is how it's for us too. The kids can ask for what they want at the store and get it without issue. I get to buy bread that I like, cookies I like, and Boca burgers... so why shouldn't they? The harm in this has never, ever been clear to me. Yes they are children and they don't have all the same brain functions I do at 29, but they do have brains & they are capable of discussion generally.
post #94 of 173
:LOL See mine watch SP, and mine are free to swear too.
post #95 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
And when you're reading a book, you're also "sitting on your butt." I didn't have a TV in the house when I was growing up and my parents always complained about me reading too much. After school, instead of running around the neighborhood playing with friends, I'd be holed up in my room with a book. I'd get so absorbed in my books that I'd miss the school bus. My mom would set limits on how many books I could check out from the library - no more than 10 per week, and they would all be read before the week was up. Some parents will always find something wrong with what their kids are doing...


:LOL hee heee. I used to have to hide/bury my book in a fluffy throw pillow and pretend I was watching tv. My mother didn't like me reading too many books.
post #96 of 173
Quote:
I don't know, does anyone tcs without allowing tv watching?
I TCS. My dd wasn't exposed to television until she was 2 1/2. If it were up to me there would be no television set in the house. As it is, dh is involved in television journalism and needs a set for work. As a TCS parent I don't feel comfortable, at all, with "not allowing" dd to watch. However, over the years we have discussed together the apparent benefits and dangers of television viewing. Some of the issues we have discussed are foreign language learning (as one poster mentioned) and exposure to "author cinema" (not sure how to phrase that in English -- good, quality films). Commercialism and whatnot has not been an issue, for us, because dd there are no commercials here and exposure to TV marketing is very, very limited.

I will concede that television, or rather DVDs of quality animation, was a good tool for exposing dd to Russian. It did not, however, make her anywhere near "fluent." That happened with exposure to real people. I will also concede that television helped her tremendously with her refusal of English. But when she learned phrases like "the coast is clear" she didn't have any understanding of them, though, of course, she pronounced them like any other native speaker. Fortunately, she was old enough to know that and come ask me!

In the end, though, the negative consequences of exposure to television were too great, in my child, to continue viewing it in a positive light. So we started the weaning process -- together. I never denied her when she asked. However, we talked and talked about the effects (red eyes, grumpiness, aggressiveness from pent-up energy, etc.). I also tried hard to keep her busy -- but not in a coercive way. If she asked to watch, she watched.

About a month ago she decided, with my input, to turn off the TV. It's been off since then.

I think this thread (especially Dar's posts) explains very well how TCS is not just about letting your kid make any choice he/she wants: http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...&highlight=TCS

Of course, the really radical TCS'ers would tell me that I am coercing my child because my views of television are just that, mine. Meaning I am pushing my issues on her. But I believe that through some well-founded research and through experimentation and experience we came to this conclusion together -- a mutual preference as TCSers like to put it.
post #97 of 173
Thanks ParisMaman, I had wondered about the connection there. I do a bit of the same; we talk a lot about why tv might be bad, why particular shows might be worse than others, and about commercials.
Bernstain Bears (sp?) has led to some great discussions about sexism and stereotyping.
Jacques Cousteau, My First 85 Years has spurred my son to rabid environmentalism.
I don't really think our style is totally tcs, sort of do what feels instictually right, but we definitely lean that way.

Kaly
post #98 of 173
We don't have a TV, and my daughter never asks to watch at other people's houses (although, many people we know either don't have a TV or don't watch one when their children are awake).

My family didn't have a TV until I was 10, so I didn't watch much TV and now I don't watch any. Over the years, I've heard that the majority of children who grow up without TVs either don't watch much as an adult or don't own one at all. There is actually a high correlation between how much TV we watch as children to how much we watch as adults.

If my daughter experiments with TV later, that's up to her, but, for now, even a 1/2 would be too much in a day in our house.
post #99 of 173
Just my $0.02....

I watched a TON of tv as a kid. I also was a voracious reader and played outside a lot.

As an adult, I hardly ever watch. I used to watch maybe 3 hours a week; now I really don't watch it at all.

I think TV is an "evil" that's been overstated. It's evil if you want it to be. What is so awful about watching Sesame Street and learning the characters' names? I did that as a kid and I'm pretty sure it didn't warp me. Sure, it might make your kid want the Sesame Street t-shirt or bedsheet set...but if that's not something you want them to have, it's up to you to explain why. Personally I don't have a problem w/DD sleeping on Finding Nemo sheets.

I agree it's an individual thing. On the junk food issue - there was a lot in our house and I had pretty much free access to it. I definitely have a junk-food problem as an adult! We also had the "clean plate or no dessert" rule though, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not.
post #100 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy926
I think TV is an "evil" that's been overstated. It's evil if you want it to be. What is so awful about watching Sesame Street and learning the characters' names?
The links that were provided earlier in this thread give data that would answer your question. In my personal opinion, it's just very dull and contrived. I think it's a great waste of time, when my kids watch it, so I try to keep to a minimum.
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