Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Parenting and the TV

My family has a huge TV, like 46" in our living room. It is flat screen, LCD, high definition, cable, and some other random stuff I can't mention because I know nothing about the actual mechanics of TV and special things that all men like when they watch football or something (my dad, b"h is not into sports).

So, well, I've been raised with a TV. Not always such a big one, but there was always a TV. When we moved into the house, there were always TWO TVs and a computer (we've had a computer in the pre-mouse days).

My mother was ALWAYS on top of what we (my sister and me) watched. I wasn't allowed to watch Friends until I was 15. Mom let me watch it at 15 because she said they don't act as promiscuous from when the show first began, which I can tell, since I'm watching re-runs now all the time. I wasn't allowed to watch Will & Grace ever, and to this day, I can't bring myself to watch it, because I'm almost expecting her to turn the TV off. I mean, its not that mom was anti-gays or whatever, she knew I knew about homosexuality, it was just that the show, in her opinion was too dirty, and she felt that it wasn't something we should be watching.

Now, I watch whatever I want. I don't like it when my dad is in the room when I watch Gossip Girl (he calls it the tramp show) and the episode of Gilmore Girls in which Rory lost her virginity to Dean (who was married) was definitely not an episode I wanted my dad in the room for. But whatever. Life happens, and my parents (mostly mom) were always aware of what I was watching, and always spoke to us about what we were watching. I never liked One Tree Hill because I felt it was too slutty and dumb to even bother getting into. My mom never prevented me from watching it, it was a decision I made on my own, because I didn't like the first few episodes. When girls in my school would ask me to tape it for them, I would, but it really bothered both me and mom that the girls were watching it, probably without their moms even knowing.

A 10 year old at my shul watches South Park and Family Guy which really bothers me. I cannot understand what his parents are thinking. The shows are way too crude for anyone under the age of about 16.

If frummies tell you TV is dirty, tell them to just censor it. They would not only prevent their kids from seeing things they feel they shouldn't be seeing, but be practicing good parenting skills.

About TV being a waste of time...

My sister studied for her AP European History exam by watching a show on the History channel with my dad. She said the show was an exact replica of what was in her notes. She got a 4 on her AP!

I used to babysit an awesome little 3 year old. His mom used to let me watch an hour of TV with him (which is two-TV shows). Usually at least one show was Curious George. When I was watching with him, there were almost always questions.

In one episode George deflated a soccer ball and wanted to buy a new one. He thought about how he would make money, and decided to have a lemonade stand. To this, the three-year-old asked "what is lemonade?" So I said "well, it's kind of like juice made out of lemons" He was like "Like apple juicy?" And I said "well Apple Juicy is made out of Apple's" So he goes "oh, so like Grape Juicy?" And I said "no, grape juicy is made out of grapes" and he listed about 3-4 juices until it hit him that juice was actually the juice of a fruit. TV made him curious to ask the question to learn something from it.

Then there was another episode where George was watching a squirrel hide acorns by digging them up in the ground. The acorns were either eaten later, or ended up sprouting and growing into new trees. A few weeks later, 3-year-old and me were taking a walk, and a squirrel was digging in the ground, and the kid goes "He's probably looking for a nut! And if he doesn't find it, it'll just grow into a tree! Right?"

Well, there was no way he didn't get THAT from the TV!

Obviously too much TV is bad. No one is advocating a no-sensor, 12 hour TV marathon for their kids. But with some TV and some nice good shows, your kids get to relax and possibly learn something.

Funny story about the 3-year-old. I was once babysitting him after his grandmother was with him the entire day. The kid took off his socks, and I was like "why are you taking off your socks, are you hot?" And he giggles and says "No, I'm being intimate"

I walked away and started cracking up. Then when his mom came home she was like "he was probably watching soap opera's with my grandma, and seen something" And the kid ran into the room and overheard the use of the word "intimate", and as a good mom, so he wouldn't remember the word (why should he, he's three) she said "Entenmanns, did you think about having something by Entenmanns?"

So yea...With good parents, your kid could probably even get away with the occasional soap opera. While I wouldn't recommend that, I don't think one should blame the TV for all the problems for something that clearly should just have been censored by a parent/guardian.


The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: that's amazing that you still don't watch will and grace because your mother didn't allow it when you were younger. That shows great parenting that it stuck, and that you willingly wanted to listen. I'm impressed.

I can understand that you wouldn't want to watch shows with your parents now that your older. I must have missed a lot on Gilmore girls, but I didn't know that happened. Gilmore Girls is one show I liked.

Why did you agree to tape it for them if you didn't think their Mothers knew about it? That's like helping out in a "crime".

The only problem with parents censoring TV shows is that if the parent and child don't have a good relationship to begin with, then the child won't listen and will find ways to watch things the parent doesn't let.

congrats to your sister. What's the AP score out of?

About the Juice, a book can do the same thing, there's curious George books too. When you tell a story they ask questions too.

That's smart to change the word around, so he should forget. But still wouldn't be smart for him to be watching soap opra's.

Overall, I agree with you that it is the parenting, but then there's other reasons too of why TV may not be good.

In my speech class everyone was always talking about TV and using it as an educational refrence all the time, and just for conversation to add comments about things we were discussing in class. After hearing so much about TV all the time it started to annoy me since I don't have a TV, so I didn't know most of what they were talking about. So I felt a little out of it. So that gave me an idea to use TV for my topic of my persuasive speech, to persuade them not to watch so much TV. So here it is: Why TV isn't Good and its based on research, I didn't put the sources there though, but if you want I can give it to you.

~Lady E~ said...

"About the Juice, a book can do the same thing, there's curious George books too. When you tell a story they ask questions too."

For most people, visual learning is most effective. Just seeing pictures in a book is not the same thing. When watching t.v. the kid hears the character speak and sees it move. TV brings more interaction between story and kid.

FS: I was watching jeopardy the other night and thanks to the olympics i was able to answer 5 jeopardy questions. You can learn alot from practically anything, its sad when people chose not to. T.V is a great way to learn!
Great Post!

The Babysitter said...

~lady e~: That's true only because their so used to the visual experience. You'd be surprised but it happens by books too. I was reading a book one time to a kid I babysit, and she would stop me at every page making comments. Also what's good about a book is that you don't have to say the exact story, you can make up your own story based on the pictures and you can teach the child so many things from looking at the pictures and explaining it.

mlevin said...

Babysitter - why are you using old-outdated research to make your point? New research shows that violence on TV does not cause violence among children. Second point you quoted Clinton to make an argument, a guy who was taken to court for lying and the same guy who lost his law license due to lying. Third, you mentioned that TV is not educational, please explain how History Channel and Discovery Channel and News Channels and etc be deemed not educational. Fourth, whoever said that TV should replace reading and writing time? Why can’t a person combine both? Fifth, don’t feel bad about not understanding TV references; many new immigrants are in a dark, just like you. Maybe one day you will become an American. Sixth, have you ever heard of a saying “Picture worth a 1000 words” It means that no book, no amount of words can describe a beauty that could only be observed. Have you ever seen Planet Earth series (on large HD screen)?

Moshe – I hate Russian cartoons and movies. Flat humor, mostly slapstick and bad visual quality to boot. Nu Pogadi is a ripoff of Tom and Jerry. Modern American productions have something that will capture attention of all ages and all IQ levels. That’s art, that’s talent, that’s skill.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: AP is out of 5. A 4 is a great score for European History. Her school even sent her a Mazel Tov letter (well to everyone who got that score).

You should read the book "Everything bad is good for you" by Steven Johnson. Its amazing. Really takes you out of the delusion that TV is the ultimate evil.

"Also what's good about a book is that you don't have to say the exact story, you can make up your own story based on the pictures and you can teach the child so many things from looking at the pictures and explaining it."

My family always puts the TV on mute, and for fun we "fill in the words" for the actors.

Admittingly, it usually only happens while we're waiting for the show we want, to start, but we still do it.

Moshe said...

mlevin, yeah, current American cartoons/movies have great visual quality and nothing else.
I hope you saw more than just nu pogodi. My kid loves Russian cartoons. Prostokvashono, Kot Leopold, 38 Popugaev, Mama dlya mamontenka, Krakodil Gena, Bremenskie Muzikanti, Maugli, etc. Btw, Lolo and Kot v Sapogach are Japanese.
What makes Russian cartoons stand out is the music and songs, mostly written by Jews.

The Babysitter said...

To begin with, if I didn't know better than I would think this post can be a conniving and scheming one. It can be used as a weapon against the parent. If a child says its all in the parenting, then they make the parent feel good about their parenting, the parent feels like they are a great parent so therefore no troubles can arise from TV, so its an easy way for a child to convince the mother to have a TV. But I know this wasn't the purpose of the post. Just a side point that I was thinking about.

Mlevin: Since when is research ever outdated? People behave the same way for years. It's funny cause if you ever watch certain TV shows you will see that the same theme repeats itself for years, in 1920 movies it all has the same theme, it's just a different setting and more modernized, and that's because people's emotions don't change over time. From the beginning of time there was love, hate, jealousy and so many other things.

Also, you can say that it doesn't cause them to become violent, but I remember hearing stories recently of children killing classmates/teachers. Even if it doesn't come to that extreme for every child, they still do become desensitized to it.

I quoted Clinton because that was a credible sounding source. Even if he did lie, there are plenty of people who lie, but they can still say truths, it doesn't negate everything they say.

History Channel and Discovery Channel may be educational, but common, which kids watch that may I ask?

I'm sure a person can combine both reading/writing and TV. If its in a healthy moderation then there's no problem. The problem occurs in families where the parents aren't that educated, and they use the TV as a babysitter, and the children aren't encouraged to build their vocabulary or read. A lot of times its because the parents don't want the children to be smarter than them. There were studies that showed low income families had children with a much lower vocabulary even by the age of 4 or 5, because they didn't hear the words being sad around the house. So in any case its what the parents value that goes to the children. If the parent at the same time values writing/reading then it might not diminish those skills in the children. Also, to children TV is much more appealing than reading, so if they have the choice many times they will choose the TV rather than a book.

You make it seem like its such a bad thing to be in the dark about these things. What am I missing out besides for understanding the references? Watching TV doesn't make you American.

Books have pictures too. But yes I understand watching stuff is good, that's why I believe in videos. I think its great to take videos of children and then let them see themselves, how they were when they were younger. They will remember the good memories and see how much you cared for them when they were a young child.

I've never seen Planet Earth series.

FrumSkeptic: 4 out of 5 that's great! That's cool she got a Mazel Tov letter.

Yea, so I don't think TV is the ultimate evil, after all I have watched TV before...and I have some fond memories from it. But I do recognize some faults in it too. As a child I may see it one way because I'm only thinking about my gain, and as a child it would seem entertaining and great. But then if I think about the bad outcomes that have happened to me, I would want to protect my children from it. So as a parent I would feel it would be my duty to give up what I want for the sake of my children's well being. But then again I'm not saying its completely bad and that parents are bad for letting their children watch TV. It's just that sometimes it becomes that you would rather be safe than sorry.

and btw, everything in this world can be good and bad, you just have to find the balance, and for every person in may be different. For some it would be to not have it at all, for some it would be to limit it, and for some it will be to let it go freely by only seeing the good it causes rather than the bad. It's all from the way you look at it. Some will see the negative aspects and some will see the positive, they both exist, its just a different perspective of looking at it.

Putting it on mute and saying the words can help your imagination I suppose.

mlevin said...

Babysitter – the researches are deemed outdated all the time. People find that there was a flaw in the original methodology, make recommendation and new research is on its way. Since TV hadn’t existed for centuries there are no conclusive long term studies. TVs became wide spread in the Sixties. As of today, it’s been in use for only 45+ years. 12 years old research that you have quoted will have a much smaller window of TV viewers/usage. Also, please take into account that original TVs had few channel options and TV programs were not available at night. Also, originally, TVs were expensive and families could not afford more than one. Thus long term affect of TVs would be based on viewers from well-to-do and rich families. There are more problems with original methodology of those TV affect studies but I won’t go into them now.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: "If a child says its all in the parenting, then they make the parent feel good about their parenting, the parent feels like they are a great parent so therefore no troubles can arise from TV, so its an easy way for a child to convince the mother to have a TV"

If any kid of mine came up with something that brilliant to present to me, in a case to get the TV in the house, I'd go out and buy him one without hesitating. :-).

Actually discussed this with a friend of mine who said he'd get a TV only if his kids come up with a good case to have one. I think thats a good thing for just about anything. IF the parent cannot rebuttle a point, kid should get what he's asking for.

frumskeptic said...

"Since when is research ever outdated? "

Research has and will continue to change. One year the egg is good for you, the next year its not. A few months later you're only allowed to eat the egg yolk, then only the white. Its always changing, and it always depends on who you listen too. Things are constantly outdated. There may always have been "love, hate, jealousy and so many other things." but how society dealt with those things have always changed. Therefore our perception and reactions to them change- hense the changing research.

"Also, you can say that it doesn't cause them to become violent, but I remember hearing stories recently of children killing classmates/teachers"

Notice how they don't mention these kids homelife. THey blame the TV. If they mentioned how dadddy was cheating on mom, and mom was working 5 jobs and had an abusive BF, you'd notice how its prob not the TV thats making these kids violent.

"But then if I think about the bad outcomes that have happened to me, I would want to protect my children from it."

Please expand on this "bad" that happened due to the TV. I'd like to hear of it.

I know plenty of people whose kids watch Discovery/History. As well as PBS and other such channels. Again, its in the parenting.

"everything in this world can be good and bad, you just have to find the balance, and for every person in may be different"

Thats kinda the point I was making. The TV is not bad at all. Its all a matter of attitude towards it and how the parents educate the kids.

Anonymous said...

I had a long comment that your site just crashed and killed.

To sum it up:
TV sucks as a learning tool once you're past the age of watching Sesame Street.

Video games are incredible for problem solving skills. Make every kid play through a Zelda game. Older kids should play Deus Ex.

If you dont understand my points, I dont care. I spent 15 minutes writing that up in detail and making good arguments, then it all disappeared when I hit Publish.

frumskeptic said...

Punk: I hate when my comments get deleted!

If I could, I'd revive it for you. But I can't. Sorry!

I disagree that TV sucks as a learning tool. My sister is the perfect example of that not being true.

Moshe said...

And when you get your phd, you may have a chance of passing Myst without cheating. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Moshe: Remember Riven? First game I bought with my own money with the computer I built right after my bar-mitzvah. Paid full price, was wowed by the graphics on the box. Course, noone told me that it was a prerendered puzzle game. I played it once and had no idea what was going on. I was barely 13!

I traded it to eb games years later for $4 I think.

mlevin said...

Moshe - am I a super genious, I didn't cheat in the first Myst?

mlevin said...

Babysitter - Stories you hear about children killing classmates/teachers have never been attributed to TV. These things happen because of bullying caused by over liberal laws/teachers. Basically these children are bullied and bullied until they cannot take it anymore. They cannot contain their heart and finally they go on a revenge killing spree.

Once someone is known as a liar he is no longer believed. Ever heard of a story about a boy who cried wolf? Therefor, quoting liars is pointless. Every utterance of a liar is met with cynicism. That's why lying is wrong. Liar=no integrity.

I know many children who watch knowledge/science/history channels. This way they could come to school/shul and show off their superior knowledge.

Yes, I do think it's bad to be in the dark about those things. I remember, years ago when a whole country watched Dallas. Well, I didn't watch this show. Another guy at my work was frum and didn't watch Dallas because it was transmitted on Friday nights. However, we both knew aproximate story line and were just as cable to participate in Dallas discussions as in Dynasty which was transmitted Wednesdays. Being able to participate makes you one of the guys. One of the Americans. Part of the best country in the world. If you don't understand TV references in schools shows that you are not an American. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Moshe said...

I think I played Riven, don't remember.

mlevin, all hail the queen. ;-)

The Babysitter said...

MLevin: So then if original TV's were that way and it was recorded that so many hours were spent watching TV, then how much more so now when there are so many more channels and more times for children to watch TV. Plus if it is cheaper now, than how much more so children would be watching more now. So TV watching hours must have gone up 100x the original amount.

FrumSkeptic: I wouldn't encourage children to come up with witty excuses of why to have something that the parents don't let. You know why? because the evil people are the ones that are truly very smart, but they use it in evil ways. So if a child uses his smartness to come up with something that's not good for him, then he's using his smartness the wrong way. An expert killer, is such an expert because he's not dumb and knows how to do his stuff, but is he good? nope.

those kinda research can become outdated because it is scientific. But behavior science I don't think changes. Even if it does change, it might go back and forth many times, so you just got to pick one that makes sense to you. If they come out with research that its better to sleep in the day and stay up at night, then just because its new doesn't make it better.

Your right you can't blame the TV for the child killing people, they could of had hard lives and their parents were abusive. But yet where did they come up with the idea from? from the TV. The circumstances may have triggered the need of the child to kill. But they knew how to do it because they saw it on TV. A child without TV may be in a abusive family but he would take out his frustration in other ways. Or the families that are abusive usually do have a TV. But anyways the TV wont' trigger a normal kid to kill someone for no reason. There will always be a reason first before a kid will kill someone. But the TV acts as an information database that the kid gets ideas from.

Well I know something bad must of come out of it.

The TV is not BAD, but its not GOOD either. It all depends on how you use it. Which your right, a lot of times that depends on the parenting.

But just like there can be great parents who have kids that are acting out. You can have great parents and have children who get ruined by the TV. Although I would hope those are the exceptions.

FrumPunk: sorry about losing your comment, that is super annoying and depressing.

Mlevin: about the kids killing people, see what I said to FrumSkeptic.

Ok if you feel that way about lying, that strengthens my point I made on a different post, where I said people shouldn't lie about having a TV/Internet and stuff.

Anyways, fine you don't have to believe him because he lied, there are plenty of other people who didn't lie that said the same thing.

About showing off superior knowledge, I know a child like that who reads college text books to show off his superior knowledge.

ok, I totally disagree with what you just said. I would think your joking, but you said it too seriously. I'm sorry to say but one does not need to understand TV references to be an American.

If you want to say that, then your saying TV is what makes you American. If someone lives in China and knows all the American shows then all of a sudden they become American?

So Paris Hilton would be the perfect president after all, I'm sure she knows lots of TV references. Is that what your trying to say?

~Lady E~ said...

I remember a teacher of mine saying that ppl always ask her how her kids can live an unsheltered life without tv. So she said that tanach provides them with plenty of exposure to everything. Apparently frum ppl can no longer blame tv but its tanach? I cant figure out if that was good or bad parenting.

frumskeptic said...

"You know why? because the evil people are the ones that are truly very smart, but they use it in evil ways. So if a child uses his smartness to come up with something that's not good for him, then he's using his smartness the wrong way. "

I want my kids to be smart. I don't think they'll be evil, but if they are, it won't be because they're smart, it will be because I made a mistake raising them.

King David and Shlomo were very smart. They weren't evil.

Yehudis was witty and manipulative. She wasn't evil.

Being smart is a quality I hope my kids will have. Having them think about reasons why they want things and come up with witty remarks, is a way for their logical reasoning to develop. In my opinion, very important quality.

if you think your kids will be evil if they get smart, so be it. I want my kids to go in the ways of our ancestors; Question and demand what they want using reason.

Moshe said...

I'm smart and evil. Do you think you're evil?

frumskeptic said...

"The circumstances may have triggered the need of the child to kill. But they knew how to do it because they saw it on TV. "

Death is the most natural thing in the world in reference to life.

A child understands the concept of death, of pain, and of killing. It is natural. A child may not fully fathom the finality of death, but the basics are there with or without TV.

Its education that prevents them from doing things. Usually, they tell people with guns to have them on display, so that the kids get used to them. Then they'll feel less of a desire to use it. Similiary if hte kid knows how to use the gun, he'll be less likely to try and play with it (to learn to use it) and shoot himself.

YOu don't need a TV for a kid to figure out how to use a knife to hurt others, or how to throw bowling balls or hammers at others.

"Well I know something bad must of come out of it. "

you KNOW? How?

"But just like there can be great parents who have kids that are acting out. You can have great parents and have children who get ruined by the TV. Although I would hope those are the exceptions."

Yes, Moshe Rebenu's kids went "off the derech" pre-TV days, but I'm sure its the TV's fault.

Lady E- The last thign I wrote to babysitter was for you :-)

Lets blame the tanach for everything. Ban TANACH, LEARN TV!


frumskeptic said...

Moshe: The better question would be "do you think you're smart"

and see what she answers.
Then if she says no, that would just be funny. If she says yes, you've got your argument. lol :-)

The Babysitter said...

No, I didn't mean it in that way. I meant there's 2 ways to use your smartness.

If a child is smart it doesn't make them evil.

But an evil child can still be smart.

It's called being conniving and scheming stuff.

A child who makes excuses and twists words for his benefit is using his smartness the wrong way.

While a child that uses his smartness in a good way, to think of smart ways to help people, then that is great!

I was just saying that the post, if it would have been a child saying it as an excuse to its parent because the child wanted TV when it new the parent didn't let for whatever reason. Then knowing that something is not good for them, and making up an excuse to have it, isn't a good thing, no matter how smart the excuse sounds.

Moshe said...

Yeah, you're right, considering your choice of majors, especially since you don't want to be a lawyer. ;-)
Though you were smart enough to get out of Prospect early.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: I don't know where the argument went, but I agree with your points you just said on 6:54

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: Just one more thing. Putting aside the Jewishness factor. There has to be something questionable about TV if there are so many sites and causes dedicated to the harm/dangers of TV

frumskeptic said...

"There has to be something questionable about TV if there are so many sites and causes dedicated to the harm/dangers of TV"

No, they just need a scape goat.

Its like saying "There most be something wrong with the Jews if everyone hates them"

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: ok, your right. Maybe I just have a natural prejudice towards it from almost everyone I know being against it.

But then again what about smoking, so many sites and everything saying how bad it is for you. That is something you agree is bad, from remembering what your sister wrote in one of your posts.

What makes smoking harmful and TV not? The scientific data? I'm sure there's scientific relevant date about TV being harmful as well.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: You cannot compare smoking to the TV. No amount of parenting can take away the affects of smoke being in lungs, whereas good parenting can even have a kid ignore "intimate" things he shouldn't have seen on a soap opera.

Two VERY different things.

The Babysitter said...

ok, so its all about the parenting then. Maybe you should write a book telling my parents what kinda parenting techniques they should use so that TV will be ok. I'm sure there are many parents that don't have good parenting schools in this area, so then only ones with good parenting should allow their kids to watch TV.

frumskeptic said...


Parenting schools. too funny!

Its called being mature and having a close relationship with your kids. Most people don't have close relationships with their kids.

When my family watches TV, we criticize it. We talk about how unrealistic things are, we talk about how the character made the wrong move, and then we discuss it. Similar to how one would discuss a good book. We'd get ideas from each other, etc.

If a kid isn't close with his parents, he may not care enough to discuss these things with them... which will mean that he may get something out of the TV that isn't true (like everyone has sex in Public HS) or something of the sort.

I can't open a school on parenting. Rabbeim should just stop feeling so threatened by "outside" influences and teach parents how to speak to their children a bit.

Moshe said...

Everyone doesn't say TV is bad, only frummies. The Powers That Ban are always behind on their scapegoating. Now days, the secular world is blaming games for everything that's wrong in the world. Before, it was TV and before that, comic books and before that, radio. Any new medium is blamed for everything bad, nothing new here, been going on for the last 100 years.

TV vs cigarettes? You're kidding, right? Cigarettes cause physical, quantitative damage while the "damage" TV causes is theoretical.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: Read

"Everything bad is good for you" by Steven Johnson.

he's phenomenal.

i already told you, but I really liked the book. :-)

My Rabbi had his wife pass a yelling message to me about it :-). hehee

mlevin said...

Moshe - you're wrong. Frummies are not the only ones banning TVs. Crazy religious Christians are following the same path regarding TV. They didn't reach our Jewish level where one has to hide TV from the neighbors, but they are almost there.

The Babysitter said...

**Correction** I just realized I made a mistake. I didn't mean to say "MY Parents" I meant to say "Parents" I don't know where that came from.

btw, they should totally have parenting schools. I wanted to give parenting lectures when I was 11. But that never happened. Now I get to do a little of it with my blog. But for some reason I can't write about the things I thought of as a kid.

Ok, I like your idea of discussing the content you see on TV. But what if the kids are too immature. I know kids that start making fun of things they see because they don't understand it and aren't capable of being mature about it. Like lets say a woman's undergarment, if a immature child would see it on TV they could haunt other girls with it for a long time till they mature. Unless your saying with good parenting, kids won't be immature?

Moshe: I saw a site dedicated to how TV is bad. With millions of pages, sites and stuff included.

Ok, that was a bad comparison, but I only used it to prove the point that sites that talk about dangers aren't just making things up.

Frumskeptic: Also the difference between sites that would say bad about Jews and TV, is that there are millions of people/sites that speak about Jews greatness. While there are no sites/people speaking out about the greatness of TV. Most professionals will say TV can be unhealthy, but they will all recommend books.

Ok, I will check out that book.

~Lady E~ said...

"Most professionals will say TV can be unhealthy, but they will all recommend books."

This really makes no sense beacause a kid could get just as much bad out of a book as out of tv. Whats the difference? A kid can turm on the tv and chose to watch anything he likes. A kid can also go to the library or the internet and chose to read any book he likes as well. The book he choses can even be more inappropraite than what he watches on tv because generally parents order the channels they want to be shown or have parental controls so they can be sure the kids arent watching anything bad. When a kid walks into a library there are no limits for what he can read.

"Like lets say a woman's undergarment, if a immature child would see it on TV"
That's not the only way a child can see a womans undergarment. Even when grocery shopping with a parent the kid can just look at a magazine cover and see womens undergarments (usually on a celebrity). Your argument makes it seem as if the world was squeeky clean and then tv came along and ruined it all for the worlds youth. Like moshe said:
"Any new medium is blamed for everything bad, nothing new here, been going on for the last 100 years."

mlevin said...

LadyE - you're forgetting that frummies banned libraries as well as TVs.

~Lady E~ said...

mlevin:Thats only the super super frummies. I had a friend who went to the library all the time, but whenever someone mentioned tv she had this look like she was going to gag or something. I remember my school to us on a trip to get library cards at the library nearest our school so if we ever needed anything we could go during lunch. At the same time my school was/is very much against tv and other secular influences. Like i made a comment on another one of fs's posts about how my principal had no idea what we were reading in classical literature and was surprised when the class said that it was worse than tv.

The Babysitter said...

~Lady E~: ok your right, except when I said professionals wouldn't recommend TV, I wasn't talking about the content on TV. I was talking about TV as the medium that it is. You can be watching good stuff on TV too, but yet it can still have a certain affect that books don't have. Books is just more educational. Meaning you use your imagination, rather than being in a passive stage of just watching the TV. RECENT studies even show that little babies or toddlers that are in a room with TV are drawn to watching it, even if its a show they don't watch, that their not interested in, like Wheel of Fortune, so even if its just for background noise it has an affect, it prevents the child from doing active playing.

The thing about the library is there's also censorship. A child could only take out certain types of books. And by the time they are allowed to take out any book, at that age, they can basically do anything they want regardless of whats allowed.

~Lady E~ said...

"A child could only take out certain types of books."

I'm not sure what you're referring to. as far as i remember as a kid i could walk into any section i wanted. I always went to find books for my mom in the adult section.

"Books is just more educational."
how so? A study was made that showed that tv was a better vocab learning tool than books. Which makes sense, because you hear the word being used with the proper expression and you really understand the meaning of the word. When you read a new word in a book you usually overlook that there was a word there in the first place.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: I saw studies on how children under 2 should not watch TV because it hinders their socialization.

Don't know what to make of it. I think a kid has to watch alot of TV and have no interaction with parents until it actually affects him and his socialization skills.

In this case (say the study is true) do one of two things

a) don't allow your under-2 kid to watch TV

b) don't have the TV on for more than a few hours.

I still find it hard to imagine. What if the Radio was just on in the background, does that noise also hinder the childs active playing?

The Babysitter said...

~Lady E~: Well that's how the libraries I know in Brooklyn are. Children get a separate kind of library card. I think there's even 3 types. 1-Children. 2-Preteen. 3-Adult.

Ok, that may be true about building a better vocabulary, cause you can visualize the word. But I don't think that many TV shows use such high vocabulary anyways.

There's always radio to listen to, to pick up on the pronunciation of words, and understanding the context. Even on the radio, with news, and NPR and stuff like that, they would use a higher vocabulary than TV.

FrumSkeptic: The radio is different because there's no visualization, it doesn't attract the kids attention.

They say even in a mothers stomach the child gets affected by what the mother sees/listens to, so I don't see why it would be harder to understand by a 2 year old. Everything you see affects you, the 2 year old doesn't need so much of it to get affected.

Although under two, you wouldn't think of them to have too much socialization to begin with. But it makes sense.

Your 2 suggestions sound good to me.

frumskeptic said...

"But I don't think that many TV shows use such high vocabulary anyways"

Trust me on this. Half the time I watch shows about HS students I turn to my mom and go "Who speaks like that in HS?"

And my sister almost always says "English teachers and suck ups"

And over 90% of the time the shows are not about those type of people.

Vocabulary is something TV does have

frumskeptic said...

I meant that the TV doesn't even talk about those people, yet the words those type of people use are on a higher level of vocabulary then those type of people would use in reallife

Did that make sense?

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: got it, so your saying the people on TV would use vocabulary that doesn't suit their personalities of the TV characters their trying to portray. Shows how they mess around with TV and make it unlike reality.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: books are the same. WHen I read books about HS students they also use big words, but when you're reading a book you're more passive about it, because you don't hear the word and therefore not responding to it.

You ever start using words that your friends used?

Just the other day a friend of mine was telling me how her day went and then she goes "now I feel so bleh"

and I've been using the word "bleh" a milion times to describe everything for the past few months. So I immediately screamed "OMG! THATS MY WORD, YOU"RE BECOMMING LIKE ME!"

nothing special about "bleh" I know, but the point is, is that when you hear things you're more likely to concept it than passively skimming in small font.

I'm the same way. I generally find myself using words my friends use when I hang out or speak with them.

I never caught myself using words I've read on books as often or rather as quickly as the ones I've heard used by friends/acquaintances.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: ok great, if you get the same thing from being around friends/acquaintances, then there's no need to get it from the TV. :-)

btw, I can imagine when you checked your inbox today, you must of had over 100 e-mails.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: My friends gotta get the words from somewhere for me to get them.

frumskeptic said...

and about the emails...yea. when I came home before shabbos I was in total shock. lol.

Was glad it wasn't spam tho. :-)

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: That's true.
But hear this, there's this really funny lady on my block, she's a court reporter for some judges and she meets all these interesting characters, so she was talking about it, and it was all so funny, so my mother recommended that she go on a TV show or something, cause she's just hysterical and everyone would love her. So then she says: "Wanna know a way to get my husband to leave me? Get a TV, How much more so if I'm on it" Now she was saying it in a joking mannor, she didn't mean it in a yeshivish way, but it was funny.

Here's an example of how crazy/funny she is, she was showing one of the blacks that she works with, her arm, showing how tanned she got, and she said to the black man, "No matter how tanned I get, I can never be ask dark as you" So then he says back to her "Yea, I'm all natural".

Anyways, people can have very entertaining lives without TV.

Yea, good thing it wasn't spam. Everyone else seemed to have been getting this spam stuff as comments lately.

~Lady E~ said...

babysitter: Just because the kid cant take the adult book out of the library doesnt mean he cant sit on one of the comfy couches in the library and read it there.

The Babysitter said...

~lady e~ your right, so that's where good parenting comes in, goes with my idea of Don't Hide it Show It

~Lady E~ said...

Babysitter: So there you go, same with the tv and parenting. The same parents that forbid tv should therefore forbid books.

Or if theyre the parents that restrict books than they should allow tv with restrictions.

The Babysitter said...

~lady e~ I would like to agree with you. I just don't think its so simple.

Here's one, TV can get addicting and it can prevent children from doing things their supposed to.

I know a kid who used to play hookey so that he can watch TV. I don't remember ever hearing of a kid playing hookey because of a book.

It's not only the content on TV, its the way its given over, its a mesmerizing way.

Why is it that when someone is depressed they want to lazy around in their PJ's and watch TV, while if their in a good up beat mood they want to go out of the house and do something. It's because TV is a passive state of being, where your watching other people do things instead of enjoying it your self.

Moshe said...

Books are a lot more addictive than TV. I have never had much of an interest to watch something until 4 or 5AM even if it was the last episode. When it comes to books, many, many late nights and all nighters. Read Terry Pratchett and you'll know what I'm talking about.

The Babysitter said...

Moshe: ok, but that's when your older. Children aren't like that. Children read books that are at most 100 pages long, how long can that last? While TV every half hour is a new show, and now with cable they have so much more to watch.

frumskeptic said...

Babysitter: No one is saying life is necessarily dull without TV. You can have a fascinating life without it, just like you can have a boring life with it.

The point here is, tv is not bad. In the future when I'll be deciding whether or not I will want a TV in the house I'll be thinking about it using TV as a neutral object, wheras you seem to be automatically assuming it is wrong, and you ignore all the positives.

When I get depressed I usually get away from the TV and read a book. This way I completely space out into a totally different world. With the TV there are other distractions- other shows, commercials. Its not the same. But thats jsut me. And I don't think that people should have TV's because when they watch it it means they're in a good mood.

Books can be damaging. 100 pages for a kid can last just as long as 500 pages for us.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: the thing is, all my life I've seen TV in that way, negative. That its hard for me to see it in a neutral way and then judge. When I found out people can choose if they want a TV or not, as one of the Q's they ask when deciding a shidduch, I was surprised, I thought you weren't given a choice, and it confused me. I didn't understand that why if something is wrong, people would have the choice to choose it. So now thinking back at that, perhaps that shows that its not wrong, since your allowed to choose it. So your right, its not automatically a bad thing.

Now looking at it from a neutral way, why wouldn't you want a TV in your house? should you decide that you don't want one. What would be your reasons?

frumskeptic said...

I wouldn't choose TV for a few reasons,

1) Its to tempting as a parent (and as a babysitter I've experienced this) to NOT use the TV when its there. And too much TV can, undoubtedly be bad for the kid, especially if as a parent I use it as a babysitter.

2) TV takes up alot of room (and in NY space is expensive), I can just have the internet, which is not even a question, and watch every show I want to watch online.

The Babysitter said...

I never thought of the space issue before. Your so funny!

But those are 2 things I agree with! Yay!


~Lady E~ said...

"I don't remember ever hearing of a kid playing hookey because of a book."

1)I've heard of millions. All those kids waiting in line for harry potter the day it comes out.
2)Also tonz of kids read during class when theyre bored.

"mesmerizing way"
As is the world of books :)

The Babysitter said...

~Lady E~ ok to each their own, from the way you describe it, I can picture someone being mesmerized by books.

I didn't think it would be equated to TV though.

That means I have to rethink what I'm looking for. Till now I though no TV/no going out to movies, possibly watching movies at home, and although there's no shidduch q about books, I always thought that I would let library books, I like reading them, think their much better than Jewish books, but perhaps since it equals TV, then I can't have them if I say no TV?

mlevin said...

Babysitter - I suggest you change your requirement from no TV to smart and moderate TV watching.

The Babysitter said...

Mlevin: I don't know if they give you a choice as to what TV moderating you want. It's just yes or no. But so long as the person has the same mindset as me, and we understand things the same way, then this issue of TV should work itself out.