We grew up without a television in the house. I think I mentioned that in my last post. It was not simply because our parents could not afford to buy one but more because they believed that TV was not essential to our development as individuals. I remember going to our cousin’s house next door after school to watch a little bit of TV. I remember long summer months wherein we would have to go next door to get our share of cartoons.
Back then, I felt so deprived. My classmates would be talking about the latest episodes of the most popular cartoons and I would feel so left out. All I had were images in my head from stories that I read in the countless books that we had at home. Little did I know that that experience would enrich my life even more than the TV shows back then. Looking back, I realise that our parents actually did well in deciding that we should not have a television set.
Today, though, I can’t help but wonder if this practice can still apply. For one, we already have our own TV at home. We even have other similar gadgets like the computer, DVD player, and a video game console – all of which the kids can use. Of course, the books are still there – they can never be taken out of the equation.
I think that the times have changed. The television and other multimedia devices can help with our children’s development. However, there has to be discipline. What they watch, when they watch, and how long they watch needs to be controlled. They have to know their limits and balance their priorities as well.