The Spirit of the Times, Day by Day

Your Child and Your TV


I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is base.
–Psalm 101

“When my kids were small, I carefully picked the TV show.  They watched one program in the afternoon, and then I turned it off.  But one time while busy at the stove, I forgot.  They saw a bit o the next program,  ‘The Three Stooges.’

“Shortly afterward, Pam’s [age 18 months] screams brought me running to her room.  There my three-year-old was banging Pam’s head  (in slapstick fashion) against the floor.”

Phyllis, the friend who told of this, had taken firm control of her children’s television viewing—much more so than most parents.  She recognized her duty a decade before today’s critics began exhorting parents to grab the reins of their TV set.

This boon—the focus on control—does much to open our eyes.  It draws some blame away from the inanimate object in the corner of the “family” room and brings to light our responsibility.  We parents must take action because TV’s impact on kids is deeper and more subtle than the above illustration suggests. Continue reading here


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