Thursday, June 5, 2008


Mom smiles as she notices her 3 year old son's sudden fascination with TV. She watches his eyes follow the moving forms on cartoon shows and his growing interest in Sesame Street, which is specifically designed to capture the interest of young childre. Timmy likes the commercials best, because of the fast-pace and louder music.

By age three, Timmy will be watachig TV 45 minutes per day. In the early primary grades, his TV time will jump to 3 hours per day, and by 7th grade, he'll spend 4 hours a day absorbing flickering images and sounds flowing from the tube.

Although mom is loving, she may not be fully aware of this electronic toy's long-term impact. Between the time Timmy starts first grade, to when he graduates from high school, he'll spend 16,000 hours viewing TV programs conjured up by only 400 Hollywood writers and producers...if they're not on strike. The flamoboyant lifestyles this small Hollywood clan enjoys depend on money advertisers pay them, and they will fabricate shows for Timmy that are ful of hype, designed to lure him away from other things he could be doing. Before high school graduation, Timmy will be an onlooker to 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders.

Three-year old Timmy is like most toddlers. He's impulsive, with little ability to delay gratification. If something appeals to him, he wants it yesterday. He has trouble differentiating fantasy from reality, lives in a make believe world much of the time, and thinks TV ads and TV programs are one and the same. If Timmy were an adult, psychologists would babel him "Schizo-Psychotic."

TV advertisers, Hollywood writers and producers label Timmy by another name: "Super Consumer." They know that impulsive Timmy has no money, but that mom and dad do. Before he's 11 years old, Timmy will view 20,000 TV commercials, many pressuring him to buy, or ask mom and dad to buy, a product. Advertisers know how to appeal to Timmy, since they hire child psychologist to tell them how children think. Timmy doesn't know if a prodcut is good or bad for him...he just wants it yesterday.

TV advertisers don't satisfy Timmy's needs; they create unecessary needs within him...and his parents. Advertisers pay TV networks (who hire Hollywood writers and producers), well over $800,000,000 each year to broadcast slick commercials aimed at children.
Poor Timmy...and mom and dad. TV advertisers and the Hollywood crew both know that when he matures to middle school age the pressure to belong is intense. Timmy may feel like a second class citizen or outcast if he isn't outfitted with $130 Ninja pump sneakers or tailored Jordache jeans. Is TV teaching our children and parents to be independent thinkers...or sheep?
As mom looks down at 3-year old Timmy, still watching TV, she thinks about the controversy over children and TV. parents are yelling about its impact on their kids. Politicians don't know what to do, since the Hollywood clan and advertisers are crying "Censorship!" Mom knows Timmy won't become a serial killer or rapist after he views 20,000 acts of violence, since she and dad will instill basic values in Timmy that TV won't compromise.

But, she knows her Timmy will be a regular TV viewer before he enters Kindergarten in several years. Mom also knows he will spend many more hours in school (7,400 hours before entering 7th grade) learning reading word attack, reading comprehension, math computation, math reasoning, and written expression skills.

Mom also realizes these skills won't be easy to learn and will take an active effort by Timmy to master. Watching him on the floor, watching TV, she knows it's a passive activity, a pastime that clashes with the alert action required to master the "3 R's."

Something in her gut tells her to talk with Timmy's father and agree upon a "game plan" to limit TV time, and complement it with "learning time." Mom and dad will not let the TV become friend and babysitte to Timmy, and leave him at the mercy of the Hollywood clan and their advertisers.

Mom frets over the long-term impact TV may have on her son's future learning. She knows she must do it by herself, in her own home, and not depend upon Washington politicians to control the Hollywood clan and their advertisers.

Mom knows the very politicians siding with the Hollywood clan and their advertisers are fully aware of TV's powerful influence over both chidren and adults. How? Because they themselves spend hundreds of millions to make slick TV ads to get themselves re-elected every four years. (Glassesshop)