TV: no place for dialog
I haven’t got a TV. Not because I’m a hipster mum or due to some kind of new fashion. Some time ago I was working as a TV and radio journalist. When I left – the tide had turned. Getting rid of the screen was the best way to cut my addiction from the news. It was fruitless, greedy and an unnecessary habit. It wasn’t improving my well-being nor any of my relationships. I needed to tune out.
I avoid being an advocate of the ‘zero TV’ policy but every time I meet other parents who don’t know what’s up on the latest ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ episode I feel like breathing in the same air through my nostrils:
‘The sea is quiet today’…
‘Sure. Silence is golden. Shouldn’t rain anyway. I’ll probably do some running. You?’
‘Well, maybe take my kid for a stroll. Or read…’.
TV is a statement. It’s a language. It’s the news. It’s also a companion and an entertainer. The child, who watches it since its birth learns a bit but not enough to speak. In order to build a dialog we need somebody who LISTENS and ANSWERS. TV doesn’t, instead it offers talking heads. By watching them a child barely improves their own communication skills by picking up some new words. It could be beneficial if only an adult had used these words in a real context. Apart from that, TV brings many side effects such as poor concentration, weaker aural learning and brain fatigue due to fast changing visual impulses.
Try to switch off the TV and hide it from your eyes, if this message doesn’t convince you. I bet your child will be angry at the beginning, then bored but eventually they will become creative with whatever possibilities are around. Hopefully a computer won’t be an alternative then!