‘I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.’ ~Groucho Marx
An interesting observation and trend that I have been hearing / seeing in many Indian homes (Especially with children) is this concept of The “No TV” Home.
So, what is a “NO TV” Home – You may ask?
In some homes, parents have made a conscious choice / decision to NOT buy a TV / have sold off their existing TV’s (Did this shock you? I was shocked when I heard it too. A free tip here: Please refrain from making this suggestion in your home if you think it will become a “No Mummy” / “No Daddy” Home instead of the “No TV” Home)
In some homes, parents have made a decision (carved in stone) that TV viewing will be limited to 1 hour a day, at least when children are awake.
So basically, NO TV homes are homes in which parents have made a conscious choice (in thought, word and action) to limit TV Time on a daily basis. After all, TV is one of the biggest “DISTRACTOR” in today’s day and age.
And from what I’ve seen in such homes, there are so many positives – especially when it comes to children. The noticeable differences being:
Children are healthier – They are physically active, indulge in more sports and outdoor activities. And in general, are definitely not victims of childhood obesity and other health disorders – which is a common phenomenon in the homes of those children who watch excessive TV.
Children are more creative – Yes! You can see the differences in the way they approach anything they do. They take an active interest in some art form (be it drawing / painting, etc), indoor games and enjoy such activities for hours at length. Good that the creative juices are flowing!
Children have better social interaction skills – Again, such children are more expressive and communicative, and hence end up with better “real-life” social interaction skills. You’re more likely to see them around the block (simply because there’s no TV to keep you busy), and they say “Hello” or smile at you when you meet, than the “TV kids” who are hardly seen out of their homes!
Children are “Doers” – So what I mean is that they actually DO things themselves – Big / Small. For e.g: They’re more likely to fetch water themselves. While the kids who watch TV all the time end up being “Orderers”. So they will order someone to do things – even the basic things like getting a glass of water!; simply because a break in TV watching is unimaginable!
Children are happier – In general, the kids from the No TV homes appear to be happier! They laugh more and they have well-rounded personalities (At least from what I could tell!)
These are some strong compelling reasons to go for the NO TV Homes..
However, many parents argue that not watching TV can actually be a disadvantage for their children since everyone else in their peer group knows things from watching TV, and hence the kids feel “left-out”. One of my mummy friends who actually used to insist on “No TV watching at home” mentioned that her bright confident and cheerful 6 year old daughter actually started losing confidence in herself, became sad & morose and developed an inferiority complex because the young girl was not able to “fit in” into conversations with her friends in school. “They spoke about Cartoon Network, movie songs, etc etc. and I have no idea what they are talking. At this rate, no one will talk to me in school, and I won’t have any friends. So please please let me watch TV for some time” She begged. And mummy had to agree.
When I quizzed a few of my mummy friends who strongly advocate The No TV Homes, here’s what they said “TV is an Idiot Box & does nothing more than creating Idiots. I don’t want my daughter to grow up under the primary influence of an Idiot” , “ Not only is it good for the children, it is also so good for the couple. At least, we see each other more and spend time communicating. “The husband” on the couch with a TV in front is like a crocodile in water. The laziness, inertia, and interest in the world around, I tell you! It’s unparalleled”.. Ha Ha.. I don’t disagree
In my view, the TV is one of the best inventions of the century. And is also one of the most important sources of knowledge and information; & also any-time every-time entertainment. The challenge for most of us (children and adults) is self-control and finding that balance between using TV as an “Idiot Box” , “Learning channel” and “Entertainment Medium”. The thing about “Balance” and “Self-Control” is that it is easy to write and theorize, but so HARD to practice and follow!
I don’t know for sure whether the NO TV home is meant for all, but definitely restricting TV Time can do wonders to your kid’s overall growth and development.
That’s my view. What’s yours? Leave a comment to let me know
Nischala Murthy Kaushik is mother and philosopher rolled into one (the philosophical streak emerged after she became a mother – essential for balance, she believes). She is an Engineer and Management Graduate (IIMB Alumni) by Education, IT/Innovation/Marketing Professional by Employment, Google/Blog/Twitter/Social Media Lover by Era, Writer by Passion, Dreamer by Compulsion, Student of Life by Choice, Eternal Optimist by Necessity and Chief Happiness Officer of LIFE by Realization. She blogs @ Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions AND VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life . In addition, she is also as a guest blogger in several sites of global repute; and her blogs have been featured in several Best-Of lists and on the Directory of Top Indian blogs. She tweets @nimu9 and is also listed among the 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter.