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Now a few words on TV
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I was watching a cool show on the HBO Family channel. It was sort of an instructional thing for kids explaining the concepts of recycling and demonstrating how the choices they make affect the environment. It was quite well done, not overly preachy, not overly technical, and interesting enough that even I learned a few things.

I've been watching kids TV shows every now and then to get a handle on what shows are good and which are bad (at least in my opinion). So that I can make better decisions in terms of which shows I'm okay with our kid watching.

I think I mentioned before that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children under two years of age should view no TV at all (and Stef and I FULLY agree with that). Although we may use some DVDs during our second trip as a last resort if the child is very upset. However I'm really hoping (praying???) that interaction and playing with them in the hotel room will do the trick, but we'll have a few Baby Einstein DVDs handy just in case.

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Naturally, once they're older we'll introduce TV (albeit slowly) and thus we need to start figuring out what types of kids TV we're comfortable with. I'm actually fine with just about all the kids TV shows I've seen. The real problem lies in the damn commercials!!!

But that irritates me on the shows I watch. For example, the other day I was watching a show on the Science Channel about how our solar system was created. The commercial break starts and boom! we get a WWF (0r C or whatever it is) commercial about wrestling!!! And if that isn't bad enough, the commercial shows some steroid grown moron hitting another steroid grown moron over the head with a folding chair.

First off, on the Science Channel??? I mean do these folks really believe that I would be even slightly interested in that kind of programming if I'm watching about how the planets were formed? And secondly, I guess it's more important in our society to avoid showing a woman's breast during the Super Bowl than it is to have terribly violent commercials every 15 minutes (but of course it's perfectly okay to have plenty of sex in the commercials during the game).

At this point I'm seriously considering Tivo'ing shows for the kid to watch so that I can cut out the commercials myself. I find it odd that shows which have that kind of violence must have ratings imbedded in the programming so that my TV can block them, but they can splash violence unabated throughout commercials. I guess we have more important things to worry about like...well like...well whatever the stupid crap the Democratic Congress is doing now (as opposed to the stupid crap the Republican Congress did).

Sorry about railing on lack of real leadership both parties in our system produce. But it just irritates me that we waste so much time and effort on stupid stuff when fixing real problems isn't all that hard, most of which could be remedied in relatively short time and without much expense. And I would expect that 90% of Americans would agree that controlling violence in commercials would be a worthwhile effort.
posted by Steveg @ 9:48 AM  
3 Comments:
  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    My daughter wants to know what an "erection" is and an "orgasm". Why is it a bad thing if an erection lasts more than 4 hours? I want that conversation to initiate on its own, not from a tv commercial.

     
  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Read: Consuming Kids, The Hostile Takeover of Childhood (or something close to that anyway). EXCELLENT book on the media and it's effect on kids of all ages, plus OTHER types of pressures on both kids and parents in America today.

    J&R watch only videos (approved, generally PBS kids shows). Even on pay per view you get commercials, though you can skip through them. Up to 7 & 8 yrs old can't differentiate between the show they're watching and the ads so it all blends together and becomes part of the message.

    Read the book!

    g

     
  • At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Tracey said…

    TIVO is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I screen all shows that Bella watches. I control how much TV she watched and cut out the commercials entirely. Having a child psych. background is a little dangerous. I target the shows that focus on meta cognitive development (no Tellatubbies in our house). I am actaully a fan of PBS Kids and Noggin.

     
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