Better (and less) TV for children is good on many levels. Children of course are better off playing outside. But you don’t want to be a party pooper, if your child enjoys a little TV. But the amount of trash on our screens is now so great, that it may well be worth taking out a little subscription to something better.
Cambridge Montessori writes how most children these days are addicted to TV. They say that most children under 5 now watch 2 hours of TV a day, a habit that continues for life (if they are bored as adults, they are too frightened to switch the ‘off’ button). As well as watching trash that warps their brains, they also end up with an idea that the world is a frightening place, which can stop them from living their dreams, later in life.
If your child watches TV, set strict timers and don’t have the TV as the constant backdrop. Interior designers often suggest arranging furniture (if you can) to face each other (for conversation), rather than the TV. So say you have a sofa and two chairs against the wall facing the TV: instead have the sofa facing the 2 chairs (with a coffee table in-between), and just have the TV accessible at an angle to watch, but not ‘right there’. This is also good for guests, as you can then talk to them, instead of all ‘watch TV’ when they come round (which many people think is bad manners).
It’s not that there’s something wrong with children watching the odd bit of TV. But it’s the addictive nature, and also the fact that most of today’s children is rubbish. Years ago, Sesame Street was brilliant: it was well-written, funny and the producers worked with development psychologists and education experts to ensure it had good results: it was made by the same people who were behind the equally brilliant Muppet Show.
Development psychologist Angelina Lillard decided to watch numerous episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, a US child’s TV show about a talking yellow sea sponge who lives in a pineapple in the sea. She found that after watching it, she didn’t feel well enough to work, and wondered if children felt the same, regarding study. Superheroes like Wonder Woman and Superman have been replaced by singing blobs, dumbed down to stereotype children as sponges, to absorb stupid information.
£50 a Year – for Good TV Fun!
Get rid of the boring ‘children’s TV’ and subscribe to DisneyPlus for around £50 a year, with a one-week trial. Parents will want this. Because along with all the modern Disney rubbish, you get access to all of the classic films from the 30s and 40s. So next time your toddler throws a tantrum, they can sit down and enjoy Fantastia, Snow White, The Jungle Book and all the wonderful films we watched as children, and wonder why they aren’t available to all children. Well, they are. Here! You can also find great Disney classics from the 60s like Hayley Mills in Pollyanna. And it also includes the episodes of – The Muppets!
If you don’t have Internet TV (or use Wi-Fi), buy a scart lead from Argos and plug it into the back of your laptop. Switch your remote to HDMI then turn your laptop around to face the wall, otherwise you’ll get duplicate images, like a TV shop.
It’s a shame The Muppets is no longer shown for children. For younger readers, it was created by a talented puppeteer called Jim Henson. You had a friendly Kermit the Frog, a ‘movie star’ Miss Piggy, a dog who played the piano, a Swedish chef and Animal (a crazy drummer modelled on Keith Moon or Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham). There were two funny old men who would throw insults at the acts, and it was genuinely funny, with big celebrity names doing duets with the main stars.
I spend a few minutes in meditation and prayer each morning. I find that this really helps me to start the day with a good frame of reference. As part of my prayers, I thank whoever is helping me – I’m sure that somebody or something is – I express gratitude for all my blessings and try to forgive the people that I’m feeling negative toward. I try hard not to judge anyone, and I try to bless everyone who is part of my life, particularly anyone with whom I am having any problems.” Jim Henson