I've begun noticing that there are TVs popping up in public places all over the place. There are TVs in restaurants, beauty salons, waiting rooms, the wellness center. It makes it difficult when you've made a personal decision to limit TV in your home to find it everywhere you go. And, the TVs in these locations are usually already turned to some channel which is not generally the channel we would choose for our family.
Going out to a family dinner sometimes becomes a stressful situation. Instead of spending quality time as a family, talking about the day, and having fun, we spend the meal trying to keep our children eating instead of zoning out watching whatever is on TV. It doesn't even matter if it is in English or the sound is muted--they are mesmerized by any type of moving picture. It doesn't matter if we sit them with their backs to the TV, they keep trying to turn around. Quality family dinners without the TV now have to take place at home.
The kiddos love to go with me to the Wellness Center when I work out because they have their own TV in the play room. The good thing about that is it can be turned to something appropriate and I don't have to worry about them while I'm working out. As for the TV in the work out room, I can put in my MP3 player and ignore whatever is on. I just hope nothing inappropriate shows up on the screen that you can see through the window to the playroom.
As much as I worry about what the TVs introduce into the minds of my children, sometimes I think I should worry about what is introduced into my own mind. During the afternoon, when the kiddos are in school, the
TVs in public locations are often turned to afternoon talk shows. I often wonder where they find the people for these shows. Do they actually volunteer to air their dirty laundry all over national TV OR do shows have staff who's job it is to find people with horrible lives. Is any of it actually true? If so, why is it not reported to the appropriate authorities? What is wrong with America that we tune in to these shows and show enough interest to keep them on the air? Why do we seem drawn to negativity? Well, it is after having this on in a public place and not being able to get it out of my mind once I got home, that I am convinced limiting TV in our home is the right decision, not only for the kiddos, but also for the adults.
I'd like to thank those people who take into consideration when children are in the room and change to something they think is appropriate for kids. I'm even more thankful when they ask us as parents what is OK to have on.
Monitoring the entertainment that my children are exposed to is hard enough without monitoring public TVs. Any great ideas out there about what to do when the TV is turned to something we consider inappropriate?
It really does "take a village to raise a child."