There's an article out now that researchers have determined that secondhand television is harmful to a child's development. Secondhand Television - Aren't We Just Awful Parents? - my title, not the paper's, discusses how even the television on in the background is distracting and can harm a child's language development. Get a freakin' grip people. I readily admit that I nursed my infants to the lovely tunes of college football for the one, and college basketball for the other. Yet I don't feel like their exposure to our television interests, while being fed in a warm, clean (and I might add well decorated if I say so myself, and I'm the only one who has to like it) home hurt my little dickens. Certainly based on their vocabulary (one told me he had never felt hate for me as most teenagers do, he has felt "disdain") I don't feel like they've suffered.
We are one of those households that tends towards the television on rather than off, especially during sports seasons - which are all of 'em. We also read books (The Help - we discussed what it was like for me growing up and the bigotry that existed then and now) and share music (Red Hot Chili Peppers - love 'em). We talk about what we are watching and much to the dismay of my 13 year old, he doesn't get to watch "Breaking Bad". I watched it - not appropriate for him - don't really care what others are getting to do. The teen sons and I do watch the "Walking Dead" together - love us some zombies.
What hurts kids is not being interested in them and their interests (good grief, I've heard enough about Master Chief - he's a Halo video game character - to write my own treatise on the guy). That's what hurts language development not to mention CHARACTER development.
What hurts kids is going hungry, being bullied, getting hit by the ones who "love" them (see Dawn's essay, The Painful Truth - it will break your heart).
Can we please focus on more important issues with kids? Now, I've gotta run, the traffic is coming up next...