You may have heard all your adult life that children should never watch television.
“It’s bad for them.”
“It will stunt their growth.”
If it wasn’t your own parents giving it to you, then the psychologists and the pastors were grinding out the same admonition. However, as repetitive as it sounds … it’s pretty darn good advice.
So why is television so bad? Here are 5 reasons why your children should never watch television again.
Argument No. 1: Imagination. When we were growing up, we found books to be a great avenue of entertainment. The black-and-white print challenged us to greater things or inspired us to think outside the box. Adventures, mysteries, fantasies and other genres set us up to see inside our minds, and they contributed to our mental library of possibilities. Television does the opposite: It steals the imagination. The screen becomes nothing more than a “stare at me” babysitter, stifling imagination and creativity.
Argument No. 2: Recreation. Sure, some people have grown to rely on game devices to literally get a bit of a workout physically. But that type of minor league recreation is nothing like having your child outside enjoying the fresh air and the thrill of some real outside activity. Television simply does not promote any type of healthy lifestyle of building coordination. It’s always an “isolation” technology. In fact, it works to atrophy the body and the mind.
Argument No. 3: Civility. How does it harm civility and social awareness? For starters, screen staring in no way promotes actually engaging or dialoging with another human being. TV time is spent engaged with the screen. Additionally, much of the dialog on TV is crass, rude, cynical and sarcastic. Television shows are warehouses of locker room conversations, selfish attitudes and mind numbing violence.
Argument No. 4: Fellowship. Whether a Christian or a secularist, human beings are designed to communicate with other people. And for the Christian, the time in quiet communion with God is not optional. So maybe the biggest criticism is that television is a first-class time thief, stealing minutes and hours that could be spent in other, more biblically productive ways. Think back to all the hours we’ve wasted watching TV. It’s not a pleasant thought.
Argument No. 5: Academics. Children learn better when they have been exposed to good books, quality observations and hands-on activities. Watching a blue dinosaur singing and a green frog yakking may have some small benefit, but the truth is … television literally dumbs down human senses. Scientific studies now show that children who watch large quantities of television do worse academically than children who watch little TV.
Bottom Line: Cut down the amount of time that your kids spend watching anything on TV. When you do this…you are moving toward improving their character. Trust me, it’s a pay-me-now or pay-me-later proposition. It may be a tough decision now, but down the road, it is one you will be glad you made.