Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TV, electronic media and gaming...

I recently read that the Obama girls are not allowed to watch television on weeknights.  Computer use is reserved for homework only.

Then I had a conversation with a parent whose child was struggling in school.  Waking him up in the morning was difficult because he was playing video games late at night.  I talked with another Mom worried about the influence of shows like Keeping up with the Karasians and Jerseylicious on her teen daughter. 

I know the solution seems obvious... remove the video games from the child's room either permanently or at about 8:00 every night.  Turn the relevision off or unsubscribe to Cable (boy would that save a lot of money).  Some parents have gaming systems or TVs only in public or family areas and limit the time given to one hour a night.

Here's the hard part... parents have to be actually put the styem in place and then stick to it.  Parents may indeed be having to break their own addictions to electronic media.  Yes, I said addictions!  because if it is causing problems in school, with sleep, or with relationships in the home... if it is casuing people to isolate themselves from contact... that's an additction.  There is a withdrawal that happens if you do this and people get cranky for a few days. There will be an uproar for a few nights.  Also, if the kids are not isolated in their rooms then the family has to interact with each other more.  

A tired parent has to gear themselves up for a change like this.

Did I forget to mention that increased isolation from skin to skin, face to face, contact between children and adolescents is thougth to be contributing a reduced level of social skills in children and to and an increased level of bullying and mean behavior.

Tough stuff..  I know.  It makes me sad.

Time for the Nike slogan her... just do it!

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