Tots totaled by TV
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
WASHINGTON (May 24) - One mother stopped watching "ER" reruns when her preschooler tried to give her little brother CPR. Another mom laughed that her 15-month-old sang the McDonald's jingle - "ba, ba, boppa, ba" - every time they drove past the golden arches.
One-third of the nation's youngest children - babies through age 6 - live in homes where the television is on almost all the time, says a study that highlights the immense disconnect between what pediatricians advise and what parents allow.
TV in the bedroom is not even that rare for the littlest tots anymore. Almost one child in five under 2 has a set, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against any TV watching at that age...
And on it goes. This is no less than systemic, multi-billion dollar child abuse. The level of stupefaction concerning television is supernatural. "If it is everywhere, why shield children from it?" many think. "It's here to stay." "Make sure its good TV." The mindless cliches swarm likes flies on dung. TVs for tots means "the end of childhood" (Neil Postman), increased ADD and ADHD, less literacy, less learning to communicate face to face, mind to mind, soul to soul with real, living (unmediated) human beings, less physical activity in unmediated nature, and far more money for the endlessly self-justifying, self-righteous Beast of Television Culture. "Never unplug," it commands. "Take the mark."
My response: Refuse it. Be creative. Read. Be silent and alone. Attend unmediated events--lectures, concerts, games, prayer meetings. Pray for deliverance--with the TV off.
As Jesus said in Luke 17:2:
It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.