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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ask a Dad

Television: How Much and What?

Dear Ask A Dad,

Can I let my children watch television without damaging their brain development or attention span? If so, what shows should I let them watch?

Sincerely,
Gossip Girl


Dear Gossip Girl,

I don’t know anything about the first part of your question, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Let’s move right along to what shows children should or should not watch.

DO let your kids watch sitcoms – that is, the ones that do not rely on laugh tracks. We live in a fast-paced society. Parents don’t have the time nor the energy to do a nine-to-five, cook dinner, pay the bills, taxi kids to and from ninja and accordion practice, help them with homework, AND teach them how to deal with a school bully. Throw in an episode of The Cosby Show and they’ll learn from Rudy how to take care of that bully situation within 22 minutes.

DON’T let them watch anything on the Disney Channel. By doing so, you will help prevent premature boy infatuation and adolescent idol worship. This isn’t as damaging to them as it is annoying to you. More importantly, the shows on the Disney Channel can seriously thwart your child's ability to develop genuine whit, unless they’ve learned to watch with a deliberate sense of irony.

DO let your children watch Crossing Over, as it will teach them how the deceased speak to us through charades. I’m getting a signal from some sort of father figure, maybe a brother, uncle, cousin, or a male friend or coworker, whose name starts with an A or a H or a Z or a Q. Why do the dead talk this way? We’ll never know until we cross over. To be honest, I don’t know how this would help children, but it’s fascinating.

DON’T let them watch Baby Einstein. There’s no astrophysics involved and it was not what I was expecting at all. Instead, replace it with a documentary about the actual Albert Einstein. By making your kids watch it at least once a week, they’ll become conversant at an early age about the differences between general and special relativity. They’ll hate you for it for the first 35 years of their lives, but will appreciate it for the remaining 40. (Hey, that’s over 50% of their life!)

DO let them watch HBO’s In Treatment. This will help you save money on your child’s inevitable need for therapy.

How much TV should you let your children watch? You should let them watch no more than…oops, sorry to end this post a little prematurely, but Fringe started about 5 minutes ago.

-Tyler

Tyler H is a guest blogger and father to Emi. The Three Bay B Chicks have asked him to shed light on a Dad’s point of view under the stern supervision of his loving wife. If you have a question for Ask A Dad, feel free to submit it in the comments section. The Three Bay B Chicks are not responsible for Tyler's "advice."
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38 comments:

Sarah said...

lol! I'm with you on the Cosby Show - lots to be learned there! Loved that show.

Daisigirl said...

Funny! Did you see the Cosby episode where Denise tried to make Theo that silky shirt? :0)

Daisigirl said...

Was her name Denise?

BSNC said...

yea cosby show is wonderful. they can learn alot there..

Nancy said...

LOL... :) I did love the Cosby Show. The Huxtables (sp?) were so loveable.

Lori said...

Not a bad idea to let young kids watch shows like 'In Treatment' and 'Intervention.' A parent could easily chime in with a comment like, "See what happens when you do drugs."

Of course, if a parent feels these shows are too mature, just let the kids watch Paula on American Idol. Was that harsh? Love ya, Paula!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Paula totally reads our blog, Lori. You should watch what you say.

Just wanted to be fair and warn you.

-Francesca

BlogBaby said...

Excellent advice from a clearly exceptional parent......wait...that was YOU who taught Emi all about stealing...right?? ;)

My advice...nothing fixes tears faster than TV so if it's on at tear time, it's fair game.

BlogBaby's BabyMama

Breanne said...

So aren't we going to guess how he was going to finish it? I say 'no more than .... 6 or 7 hours a day', you know to get them ready for sitting through school 6 or 7 hours a day. It may be 6 for some, 7 for others, it varies on a case by case basis, but no less than 5 hours a day.

We find this highly successful with Taya.

Ali said...

Crap. Now I know why I have a serious crush on Handy Manny. I just want him to speak Spanish to me.

Pardon me, that was slightly inappropriate. But you make such a good point, we need to turn off Disney around here! I'm starting to find even cartoon characters attractive.

Heather said...

No one can parent like the Cos! I don't know why I even bother, I so pale in comparison to the Huxtables.

Kathy B! said...

Perfect! I've got lots to do today. I'll plop 'em in front of some Cosby show and kill two bids with one stone -- I'll get my stuff done and they'll have figured out how to cure cancer.

Lori said...

F-
Oh, right, I forgot... probably via the Britney connection, right?
-L

Kelly Deneen said...

hehe. Okay, okay. I'll turn off the Disney channel!!

Deb said...

I need a dad's opinion on Sponge Bob Squarepants. My sixteen-month-old is already singing the theme song, so it's too late for me, but you might help others out there.

Quiskaeya said...

Oh! I LURVE the Cosby show!! Baby einstein is a fav in our home too.

Felicia - I complete Me said...

You know I was with you when it came to the Cosby show, and then I just cracked up about the rest.

Abra said...

I totally force my children to watch family guy, and then I point out how normal our family actually is and really they should be grateful...

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I loved the show Crossing Over. Good point regarding the charades though. Never thought of that.

Meg said...

Daisigirl-yes, it was Denise. It's was supposed to be a knock off designer Gilbert Gartrell shirt because Theo wanted to impress a girl but couldn't afford it. From that episode, I learned to be myself.

See! Tyler's right. TV is good for your kids!

And besides, having the TV babysit is a lot cheaper than Ashley down the street. Who doesn't want to save money in this economy?

Amy said...

I love watching Olivia with my little one.

peewee said...

what? you don't want your kids watching the real housewives? So they can learn what their mother SHOULD be wearing?? hmpph.

The Blonde Duck said...

You know, a study came out that kids who watched Baby Einstien were actually dumber.

Grand Pooba said...

lol! I agree, nothing good can come from the Disney channel. However you left out a big No-No.

BARNEY!

Nana said...

I only let my grandkids watch HBO.

pam said...

Great to read about your point of view! I am very open-minded to other's ideas:)

mommaof4wife2r said...

i agree...i mean, i can put shapes in a shape sorter in a live performance. who needs baby einstein?? :]

TrueLoveIsaMama said...

Thank God for Spongebob! He seriously keeps me laughing while he babysits the kids & I do dishes/make dinner!

Juls said...

Ask a Dad,

Once again my kids are 12 & 10...and I feel that I may have failed them....

Should I strap them to the couch now, and make them watch t.v. for two weeks straight so they can catch up?!?

Please write back soon, as I will have to (make up) some excuse as to why they won't be in school for the next two weeks...if you feel this is what I need to do.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

My husband loves to watch Cosby Show, too. :)
It is so nice to be back here in your blog.

Counselormama said...

The perfect Cosby family! I agree with Lori, show them Intervention or any show with Brett Michaels, and say see what drugs to to you???

funky bag freak said...

Francesca, Frannie, Fran, Nes, Ces-ca...just trying to come up with a nickname for you. HAHA

Hey come on over, I have an award for you tootz

Life with Kaishon said...

This was SO funny : ). I love that they can learn how to deal with a bully in 22 minutes on the Cosby Show! I need to make Kaish watch that show more! And I can too, now that it is On Demand. : )

joanofalltrades said...

LOL! I'm actually watching In Treatment as I'm reading this post.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

OMG LOVED the Cosby Show! Ok I'll admit it I loved Crossing over ... LOL

Yup I'm addicted to TV ... LOL I'm full of useless TV sitcom info!

nancy said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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Jo said...

Haha this was funny!

Brenda Jean said...

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Loved the Cosby Show too but wow the one girl, not the married one, but the next to oldest??? She really turned bizarre when she got older-- starred in a movie with Mickie Rourk. Well I won't say more because it's kind of icky...

My youngest is 9, so a lot of the new shows are too young for her now. Many of them scare me. BAHAHAHAHA She can't watch any prime time sitcoms, but we like Sunny With a Chance, Tru Jackson and iCarly a lot! They are on Nick:)