Monday, October 8, 2012

Parent/ Educator perspective: A commentary on the importance of family life, and the role of television.

"We linger shivering on the brink, and fear to launch away."

I look back on my childhood and am alarmed at the amount of television I would view. As a pre-teen, I recall easily watching a solid 4 hours of tv per day between the afternoon and evening. A parent myself, almost three times over now, television has an increasingly small place in my life, and in the life of my children. These days, I have become a reluctant television viewer, even the movies (save the new Bond movie), are unappealing.

Of course, there are many whom make it part of their unwinding routine. If you are one of these, I don't know how you can bear it. I'd rather be partaking with my family, working, meditating, studying the Word of God, or doing something fun with others. In fact, I'd rather clean the bathrooms in my house, than watch TV.

Granted, not all TV is 'porqueria.' I like that Alec Baldwin show... what is it? Third rock or something? IT IS HILARIOUS! But I don't stop traffic to catch it. I'd rather be doing something with my son outside the house. To be fair, some of the kids programming has gotten better since I was a kid. Not so many fighting characters these days. Everything is 'educational,' lol.  But still, putting a kid in front of tv-sitter, for more than 30-45 minutes, every other day, implies that you need to get a bit more creative on how you plan your kids day. TV should not be so important. Turn it off. If your life is such that you can't move away from heavy reliance on sitting on your couch, and staring blankly at a screen, then you should honestly consider reprioritizing. After all, life is very short, and you never know what may happen tomorrow.  Having the right priorities will show through the actions of your family.

As an Executive Functions Coach, I recommend a re-prioritizing, a re-shifting of daily life actions, in order to usher in better focusing and sustaining attention skills... away from the television. Your kid won't get smarter with the tv. Studies show that interaction between people are the path to learning... not buying the Baby Einstein set, and checking out of the room.  Plan a trip, go fishing, go play a sport with your kid, go ice skating, play chess, show them how to relax in a healthy way. Go to the park, and prompt them to make friends. Be the silly Dad/ Mom at the park. Enjoy each day like it was your last one... include putting the LORD front and center. He is the Rock of Ages. Point your kids towards Him. This is like ballast in a a ship. In times of trouble, these little sailors will have a Light  to guide them.

We need to raise the volume on the nation-wide conversation we have as parents, in terms of raising our kids. Fathers and Mothers have a moral obligation to be the gatekeepers of what our children are filled with. Would you take your kid to eat fast food every day?? Garbage in... garbage out..

After all, the family unit is the fabric that keeps this country from going down the tubes. It is spiritual warfare. We need to guard the hearts and minds of our children and fill them with worthwhile things. We need to realize that our priorities are defined by what we put are time and energy into. Not by what we pay lip-service to.


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