would they say?
is "Turn off the TV Month" and thechallenge has been put to
every parent: Kill Your TV. Kids ave all been bombarded with the
slogan "Just Say No to Drugs" but have failed to catch the
irony hat the message is being propounded by the most pervasive and
dangerous drug on the planet:
It's the drug in the living room.
you don't believe that TV is a drug, try this test: Take a pair of
sharp scissors, and cut the plug off the TV . (Most homes have 3.4 TVs
and 2.3 children, more than enough for everyone). Watch the children
(and adults) as they go "cold turkey" They will exhibit
every major symptom of grief and of drug withdrawal: pleading,
bargaining, anger, rage, sweats, agitation, increased anxiety, seeking
out TV in other people's homes, at school, etc. It will cost you about
$15 to get the plug rewired, if you should be so inclined.
kids take about ten days to detox from a lifetime of 22 hours a week
of drug intake. It's not a pretty sight.
kids have access to unlimited amounts of TV they do not engage in
active physical play; they sit immobilized in front of the TV. During
TV watching, they do not read; they sit staring at an image scanned on
the screen for them.
this TV wasteland time, they see murder, mayhem, rape, pillage and
plunder in a relentless stream.
you want to try an interesting way to limit the TV watching in your
family, try this rule: you can watch TV until there is an act of
violence; then the TV goes off for the rest of the day. The kids get
to watch an average of 7 minutes of TV each time they turn it on.
who sit in front of the tube, even during so-called benign shows like
Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, are still sitting in front of the tube
when they ought to be playing, exhibiting active engagement with their
environment and fellow living creatures, not sucking electronic
stimulation from the great teat of TV.
kids who sit in front of the tube are NOT reading, are NOT attending
to homework, are NOT actively engaging with adults in conversation as
long as they watch TV. Adults who sit in front of the tube do NOT read
to their children, do NOT play with the children, do NOT engage in
meaningful dialog with kids, except when they are given
"permission" during commercial breaks.
honest folks will admit that once the TV goes on, it doesn't get
turned off until the 10 o'clock news is over. On Saturdays, it
disgorges 8 to 15 hours of endless commercial pitches aimed at kids.
Kids don't really understand that it is the TV's job to get you to buy
stuff you don't need.
is as pervasive and seductive as any drug on the planet. Marie Winn,
author of "The Plug In Drug" points out how kids who sit
endlessly in front of television exhibit greater violence, greater
aggression in school, less motivation to read, less energy to do
outdoor things. In "Remote Control:A Sensible Approach to Kids,
TV and the Electronic Media", the argument is powerfully made
that kids have gotten control of TV watching and will engage in all
sorts of aggressive behaviors to have access to it. In "Getting
Unplugged": Take Control of Your Family's Television, Video Game,
and Computer Habits" by Joan Anderson (author of "Breaking
the TV Habit") and Robin Wilkins, readers learn a four-week
strategy that helps kids and grownups get back in control of their
electronic addictions. There are ideas for replacing screen time with
constructive, interactive non-electronic activities. Instead of giving
up, as so many parents do, this wonderful book will give you the
courage and the wherewithal to fight the seemingly omnipotent giant
with one eye.
will arm you with facts and figure to take the April Without TV
Challenge. If the rhetoric doesn't do it, remember there's always that
pair of scissors. Give your kids a chance to kick the habit. Try a
month without TV.
you can't do it.
Spencer invites your feedback at PO Box 30307, Abq 87190 or by E-mail