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Entertainment Tue, 15 Nov 2005

Is TV Friend Or Foe

With a medium like the Television industry competing for the shortening attention span of its viewers,especially the young ones,it is prudent to query whether the TV is a friend or foe. Whether one has got an antenna for the basic stations or a satellite dish for 600 channels, the television can be a friend or a foe depending on how you and your family utilize it. The crux of the matter is that,the kids watch too much TV,and aside interfering with their academic health,it also has serious implications on their physical health.

Studies have linked excessive television viewing to obesity,attention disorders, poor body image, substance abuse, early sexual activity and increased violence.It is so much easy for a 7 year-old to recite a popular advert on TV,from start to finish,but the same kid will fumble when you ask him| her about what he| she learnt at school.It is even more exasperating to feud with your little sister over the control of the remote control,just because she wants to watch some telenovela at the expense of the News bulletin. It is imperative for parents to take an active role in the television viewing of their children.

They should favour a balance approach that involves reading,playing,outdoor games and some art work.TV is good,and every kid has his|her favourite programme, but then,it is recommendable for parents to watch TV with their kids,because they ought to know what their kids are watching.They need to give strong consideration to making sure that children are watching programmes that are age-appropriate. Parents must monitor their children's viewing habits and set limits on how much TV their kids watch. Sometime ago, our television networks introduced the parental blocks eg.

PG13 on our sets,but they couldn't sustain such a laudable move.The parental blocks must definitely be revived to make it easier to keep undesirable content on TV from the sight of the kids.Most children are fortunate to have their own rooms and it is always advisable to make child's room a TV-free area.That way,when your child is in his|her room doing homework,you can be sure that there aren't any distractions.There are so many things on the TV now that are not beneficial,and it behoves the parent to watch and discuss the content to help show the kids what programs are beneficial with positive influences,rather than leaving the programming choices up to the child.

Source: ARNOLD ASAMOAH-BAIDOO,arniebaidoo@yahoo.co.uk