Friday, June 17, 2011

Too much of TV or PC or lap top or mobile all r harmful and addictive

Alok adds:

1. Waste of time

2.waste of power increase in electricity bill

3. fast reducing the age of appliances due to over use

4.reduced interpersonal communication

5.picking up bad habits/ behaviour due to over dose of same thru all these gadgets

6.spoils ears due to overuse of ear phones

7. due to excessive sitting ( and in wrong posture) spoils back bone, heart, joints

8. excessive viewing screens and use of remote makes (me) one obese,spoils eyes,and increases heart attacks,cancer

9. children's will grow without playing in fields/ open,hiking,jogging,picnicking,dancing or attending some personality development courses . ...and so on ....

•Recreation vs. addiction

•Concerns over television

•Undoing the addiction

•Watch what they are watching

Call it an entertainment machine or the idiot box, the one thing one cannot deny is that television can be addictive. Gone are the days when we used to sit in front of the television, our family usually with us, waiting for our favorite programs on the only channel that was available. And if things didn't interest us, we could always run outdoors or meekly hit the books. Times have changed and the television audience today is bombarded with a plethora of choices. Children's television is a huge industry. Some of us have lost count of the number of channels with children's programs; most of us have no idea of the number of advertisements that target our children. However, almost all of us are concerned that the kids may just be spending too much time in front of the television.

Having a couch potato at home is every parent's nightmare. While nobody would want their children to be passive audiences, glued to the screen all day, it is also important to remember that television does have its advantages and can even be a medium of learning. It also provides children a social and cultural context, giving them things to talk about in their social groups and teaching them about the cultures of their counterparts elsewhere. The question that arises is how much TV is too much TV? Where does one draw the line? And if children are hooked on to the telly, why should one be concerned? How should one go about changing things?

Recreation vs. addiction

Every generation is nostalgic of the way it was brought up. Somehow, the way our parents grew up was always “right”. And as parents, we naturally tend to be apprehensive about the environment our children are growing up in and the gadgets that surround them. We often wish they would go out and flex their muscles a bit, or pick up a novel. What is important to realize is that the children aren't to blame. Moving images have the capacity to bind someone's attention. However, this is not to suggest that we all unintentionally surrender ourselves to the telly.

Research studies suggest that children who grow up in an environment with strong social institutions, where they have ample opportunities for interactions, are less prone to becoming television addicts. Children who have active play groups in the neighborhood, whose family members spend enough time with them and who have been introduced to children's literature at an appropriate age are less likely to become couch potatoes.

The urban, nuclear family today faces difficulties with bonding. Children with working parents and few friends in the neighborhood often have little choice but to turn to television. Nannies are expensive and quality time is rare, and parents often substitute time with goodies like toys and video games. What starts out as recreation can often end up as an addiction. For the child, television may take precedence over people with whom he or she cannot connect, even in their presence.

This is not to paint a dystopian picture, however. Watching television with family can be a great bonding opportunity. Parents can also lead by example, by giving more preference to family time and conversations over television. Children learn quickly through observation and those who see their parents prioritize other things over television can pick up such positive traits themselves. Monitored television viewing, too is advantageous because children's programs can speed a child's cognitive process, facilitate learning through observation and act as a stress buster (Yes, children are stressed, too. Classroom settings, assignments and examinations are not very easy.)

Why the concern?

How does television content affect a child? The research (and the debate) will, perhaps, go on forever. From increasing concern over televised violence, to exposure to sexually suggestive content, the list of concerns is never-ending. The concern, however, is not always psychological.

• Health issues – The fact that one is completely immobile while watching television increases the chances of gaining weight. Munching on fast food while watching TV is one of the leading causes for obesity among young kids.

•Behavioral issues: Kids can get engrossed in what they are watching. Forcefully detaching them from TV can lead to emotional outbursts and tantrums. It can also be hard to start a conversation with a child watching television.

•Psychological and social issues: What children learn from television is the subject of never-ending debate. The problem is compounded by the fact that in the absence of supervision, children can gain access to adult programs. There is also a concern about unethical advertisers trying to sell their products to children. Children influence consumer choices in most modern households and also create demands for things they may have taken a fancy for. It is hard to talk a child out of buying something he/she may not need but drastically wants. Refusal is often met with tantrums and rebellion.

•Academic issues – Getting addicted to television might affect your kid's academic progress.

Undoing the addiction

The key to undoing the addiction is to create interesting alternatives to watching TV. Enrolling children in hobby classes or encouraging them to participate in sports cuts down on their television time, besides aiding proper physical and psychological growth.

However, the most important requirement is quality time. Spending time with your children, over meals or even while watching television is an absolute necessity. Not only does it help increase bonding now, it also paves the way for easier conversations once they enter teenage.

Introduce them to the habit of reading. Story books can take a child into a world much richer than the one television creates. It broadens their horizon, improves their linguistic skills and does not subject them to targeted advertising. Joint reading sessions are a great way to initiate them into the world of books.

Watch what they are watching

Supervision is a very important aspect of parenting. Parents who do not regularly monitor their children's viewing habits are sometimes taken aback when they actually see what their child is watching. Television programs and films sometimes have a PG certificate, requiring parental guidance for children watching them. Various things need to be explained to children while they are watching television, because they are continuously learning from what they watch.

Avoid or skip watching shows that you feel your kid shouldn't watch, at least when your kid is around.

Make it a habit to turn off the television during meals and conversations so that you and the child can spend some quality time together.

No comments:

Post a Comment