A Beast of Terror lurks in the bedroom of a third of all children who
are age two or under. It's called a television. And
parents use it to keep their baby informed of special programs that
they hope will accelerate the child's learning. But a new study
by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) says television viewing
for children creates ADD, especially the youngest. Find out how
to fight the Beast of Television Terror.
Saturday, April 10,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 941
Beast Of T.V. Terror Eats Little Children Daily
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--April 10, 2004 -- While
everyone is focusing on Terrorism in Iraq, the Beast of Terror is
eating our children in the living rooms of America's more than 100
The AAP warns
parents too much t.v. increases chances of ADD in their children
In a study published this week in Pediatrics, the Voice of
the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents are warned that every hour
of t.v. watched by children 2 and under increases their chances of
getting attention deficit disorder by 10 percentage points.
Three hours a day of TV makes a kid's chance of getting ADD 30
The problem is that about one-third of all
children two or under have televisions in their bedrooms--a kind of
babysitter that parents think will help the child learn more quickly.
Educational programs like Sesame Street and other learning-based TV
shows are just as dangerous as others, the report says.
It is the constant flicking of subjects, the viewing nature of
television, the molds the child's early learning.
In a nutshell, the report calls t.v. an "in-home
Terrorist" warping the minds of the young.
The report strikes a blow to t.v. Terrorism.
The AAP recommends that parents ban all television by a child
under two years, and limit viewing to only one to two hours a
day by older children.
The AAP report
calls t.v. an "in-home Terrorist"
Content doesn't seem to be the issue. It's the quick
action, rapid scene changes and high noise levels that tend to over-stimulate and permanently "rewire" the developing brain that
researchers are most concerned about.
This is heresy to some.
Especially children's program producers. For years the
idea of the television as being an adjunct teacher, a form of
ancillary parental support that provided a safe haven through Big Bird
or Barney, and guided a child to spell and learn numbers was almost a
Busy mothers used the tube to feel
more secure the children were getting attention that she might not be
able to give because of her priorities, and, by guarding what the
children viewed she was fulfilling her role as a Sentinel of
That ideal is dead--at least for the
According the AAP, a mother or father
or guardian who lets a child watch more than one or two hours a day of
television is twisting the child's mind, perhaps short-circuiting its
capacity to think clearly, driving it into a state of confusion and
sparks that may result in an unhappy, dissatisfied life.
In other words, leaving the t.v. on
too long for older children may be an act of Terrorism.
Letting children under the age of two watch it is,
according to the study, a gross act of Terrorism.
Remember the definition of
Terrorism--it is the use of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency to
render others powerless over their choices to resist the will of
parent flips on the t.v but a Vigilant parent interacts
A parent who flips on the
television to feed the mind of a child is acting in the highest degree
of Complacency. Expecting a television screen to emit the
love, affection, caring, knowledge and wisdom of a parent or loved one
is an act of selfishness, totally disregarding the thirst of the child
to feed off human relations rather than electronic ones.
Handing a child over to the arms of
Big Bird, according to the AAP, is not unlike handing over the child
to a child molester or predator who, appearing kind and generous on
the outside, is full of latent evil within.
Not everyone, of course, is
going to buy into the AAP study. To accept the fact that
millions of parents have been negligent, in fact, have been outright
cruel to their children by allowing them to watch television, requires
a giant leap of faith in the AAP's study and a radical change in the
structure of the home.
Television is often the
family center, the well from which families drink.
Huddling around the television and watching programs together appears
to many to be like sitting around a campfire listening to the local
village storyteller spin yarns, only with a television you have a
clicker to change the storytellers and the stories, as well as
quick-framed, fast-moving commercials begging you to buy whatever is
being hawked by brilliant merchandisers.
"family circle" reject or accept their t.v. as a Tool of
To give up the "family circle" is a huge challenge and
threatens to demean the study as families refuse to accept the
rejection of their television as a Tool of Terror.
But, the reality is, television
is by its very nature an "intrusive" medium. It's single
purpose is to intervene between human interaction in a home, and
create interaction to be viewed rather than experienced.
The dramas portrayed on
television screens are the same ones that happen inside all people, in
varying degrees. Yet, rather than talk about those
feelings or invoke one's imagination to amplify upon them, people sit
glued to a flat screen watching the plays of others unfold while their
own dramas of life go unresolved, remain secrets, sometimes "dirty
little secrets," buried deep within the self.
Ultimately, the child
watching television becomes a shell of emotions rather than a living
being with emotions, because all the emotional therapy of uncovering,
discovering and discarding feelings has been rendered by watching
others go through what they must to get to where they are going.
A child doesn't have to
seek the road or path of life and endure the challenges he or she
faces if he or she flips on the television and sits agog watching Lord
of the Rings where others make that journey for them.
In my opinion, the AAP
study is a strong case for the Pledge of Vigilance, and another stout
reminder of the dangers of neglecting a child's need to be
communicated with on adult levels.
minds are sponges
Children's minds are
sponges. Only during the formative years does a parent
have the chance to mold that mind, to inculcate it with certain
beliefs and values. Television viewing tends to undo all
parental work when children see the t.v. more as a parent than the
Who does a child count on
to be there for him or her? The parent or television?
Who will listen to the cries of the child's inner self better, the
television that doesn't criticize or say "don't bother me now," or the
harried parent who seems so busy and wrapped up in himself or herself
that telling the parent that one thinks he or she is ugly, or not
smart, or doesn't fit in with other kids is something wrong rather
Parents who follow the
Principles of Vigilance know they must build bridges of trust with
their children by sitting quietly with them and sharing their own
Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies. If they
haven't shared, or are unwilling to share their "dirty little secrets"
with their children, why would the children want to share theirs with
But the t.v. is different.
In the story or fantasy being shown, the child can project himself or
herself as the superhero transformed from the "nobody."
Suddenly, the superhero can be what the child isn't, until the switch
is turned off. And then, the sinking emptiness of the
that time with Vigilant activities
Parents need to not think of just cutting down
Parents need to not think of
just cutting down television time, but more importantly, of filling
that time with Vigilance. By teaching a child
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations, the
parent is guiding a child toward a life of self-sufficiency.
It is known that you cannot
take something away without replacing it with something else otherwise
the balance of the universe is turned upside down.
If the AAP is correct and
television is a Terrorist, then it cannot just be removed without
leaving a giant scar and a possible entrance for another boil, another
scab of Terror to form where the old was extracted.
But, if by removing the television
(Terror) you replace that time with parental interaction, parental
efforts to practice the Principles of Vigilance, you plug the Hole of
Terrorism. You quash the Beast of Terror.
Don't just flick off the
Turn on your Vigilance switch.
Your child will be the winner
because you will become the star of the show.
April 9--Death &
Destruction: The Wine Of Terrorism