independent

Friday 22 August 2014

Would you put a telly in their room?

T

SHEA TOMKINS

Published 09/10/2012 | 12:40

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HERE WERE nearly wigs on the green at the weekend when I informed a number of parents that I am considering putting a TV in the young lad and younger lad's new room.

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The good woman and I have decided to move both lads into the one room, as it will teach them not only the virtue of being able to share, but also to enjoy the excitement of sleeping in bunk beds (I wouldn't mind getting some for our room, but the good woman thinks we're gone too old). One father threw his eyes to heaven at the mention of TV. His daughter, currently floating about in the hormone-addled wilderness that blurs the years between childhood and becoming a teenager, organises her daily routine around her favourite television programmes. The other day he asked her to get up from the couch and to go do something more productive instead. A half-hour later he found her upstairs in her room, glued to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody - whoever they may be. On the contrary, there was a dad that said he and his wife are considering resorting to prayer in the hope that their year-and-a-half-old will start watching TV, as her indifference to the flickering box in the corner means far more of her parents' kilojoules of energy are being burnt. We have never had such a problem with our lads. They love being plonked in front of the TV, and to be perfectly honest, I love plonking them there. Having read up on what the experts have to say on the matter – that is, kids under two should watch no television, and kids over two should watch a maximum of two hours daily – I have arrived at the following conclusion. I see little wrong with a young person watching a cartoon or two in the morning and the same in the evening, provided the rest of the day is varied with exercise, social interaction and brain stimulation. Moderation is the key word. I have fond memories of the first TV I had in my room - a stylish black and white set with an aerial that could have easily deputised as a jockey's crop. Hopalong Cassidy, Chips, and Pajo's Junkbox – who needed technicolour, when you had the comfort of a bed from which to observe it all? Though when I think about it now I used to sneak the odd peek at Falcon Crest late on Thursday nights, when I thought everyone else was asleep. And 'V' (remember the aliens with the scarily long tongues) on a Friday night. Actually, forget about it - a telly in their room provides too much temptation. Those young lads can lie in the darkness and tell each other stories about the War instead.

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