A Different Perspective on TV and Kids

By , March 2, 2007 8:31 am

Martha Beck wrote an article in the March 2007 issue of “Oprah” magazine (see “Martha Beck’s 5 Best Pieces of Advice,” p.91) in which she takes the position that TV is like a vitamin, necessary in small doses everyday, but toxic if overused. She believes that exposure to TV is necessary for healthy social development in children. Having grown up without TV, she was bullied for her lack of pop culture knowledge.

While this may have been her unfortunate experience, I have to say that I have not found that to be true yet with my children. Somehow, kids seem to absorb a huge amount of pop culture knowledge on the school playground. They know who Sponge Bob, the Disney Princesses and the Power Rangers are without ever having seen them on TV or in film.

Here is a link to that article online if you are interested:

Television is a Vitamin (Martha Beck)

What do you think?

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2 Responses to “A Different Perspective on TV and Kids”

  1. Jane says:

    I too grew up w/o tv until the age of 6. Then we got seriously limited doses of PBS on our 13 inch black and white TV until age 8 or 9 when slowly my parents became more interested in TV and therefore we watched more. At that time the Cosby show came out and we watched that and the news and maybe some animal shows. In JR High we upgaded to a color TV. My parents have that same tv now.

    I was teased about not knowing tv characters. I have a vivid memory about talking about Sesame Street about a week after getting our TV and being told that was a baby show. I was still interested because it was new to me.

    I want to limit my kids tv as well. Not sure what my “policy” will be because I don’t have kids yet. TV helps me to tune out and relax after a long day at work. When I need to take my mind of my students and their problems or my problems dealing with them, some mindless TV is a quick fix. To limit kids TV I will need to cut back on my already limited viewing. I think it will be worth it though!

    Especially since blogging is my new tv!

  2. Mom of three says:

    I have to say that the computer is my “TV substitute” too. I have never ever watched much TV myself so it wasn’t hard to take the plunge and go without, but I do relax with the computer: blogging or even playing a game (I am addicted to Bookworm!).

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I hope my kids don’t get teased in the future. For now, all is well.

    It was exciting to see that I have at least one reader (besides my sister and my best friend who are regulars). By the way, I am enjoying your “Crayons” blog. In my next life, I would like to be a teacher!

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