Give Your Children a Good Start in Life
BY AWAKE! WRITER IN CANADA
▪ “Television can be a wonderful learning tool,” says a report in The New York Times. However, “sitting passively in front of the tube for hours is taking its toll on the bodies and minds of children,” robbing them of opportunities that can foster creativity, learning, and social interaction.
After studying the viewing habits of 2,500 children, researchers at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., “found that the more TV watched by toddlers aged one to three, the greater their risk of attention problems at age seven,” says the newspaper. Such children were increasingly aggressive and impatient and had a decreased attention span. According to educational psychologist Dr. Jane M. Healy, “many parents of children diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder found the difficulty markedly improved after they took away television viewing privileges.”
What can parents do to reduce the time their children spend watching television? The report offered the following suggestions: Set limits on when and how long your child can watch television each day. Avoid using the television as a babysitter. Instead, involve your child in doing household chores as much as possible. Select the shows your child can watch, and turn off the television when the chosen shows are over. Whenever possible, watch the selected programs with your child and talk about what you see. Finally, limit your own television viewing.
Nurturing creativity and social skills in children takes time, determination, and self-discipline. The positive results are worth the effort. This is attested to in an ancient proverb that says: “Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) An integral part of such training involves instructing children in proper moral values.
Jehovah’s Witnesses successfully use their book Learn From the Great Teacher to instill lessons of acceptable behavior in their children. Indeed, good communication and loving attention by parents during a child’s early years are sure to reap lasting rewards. What can be more satisfying than for parents to see their offspring grow into respected and responsible adults?