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Dr. Kashdan wrote:
“Its slightly ironic that you focus on the paramount value of play
but miss the satirical, playful tone of my blog post.”
No, I got that you were using a lighthearted tone, nevertheless
you were giving out serious advice to parents, as in:
“If you are a parent, the amount of hours that your children watch
television should not be yet another area for you to stress about.”
No one is saying that parents have to stress out over their kids,
but to imply that how many hours a child spends watching TV
is irrelevant very much goes against the science.
The AAP recommends no more than 2 hours of TV per day,
yet children are spending over 4 hours per day, on average.
That means for every child who only watches 2 hours per day,
there's another child who watches, on average, 5 to 6 hours per day.
Which according to you, is no big deal as long as the child seems OK.
“Instead of viewing television as bad, under what situations does it serve
a useful function? And why is TV, and subsequently computer games on
a TV, outside of the province of play?”
It's interesting that video games, playing, and also reading have all been
found to improve cognitive ability (with numerous studies to back that up).
But not TV. TV is definitely very educational, but as far as improving
cognitive ability there's nothing to support that. And there are studies
finding that excessive TV (unlike play) reduces mental health and
“Ask my students whether the eternal hard rock music in my office,
courtesy of Pandora, disrupts my social functioning and writing ability.”
You dismiss the idea of TV as a distraction as poppycock, but I bet
if you were willing to put yourself into a similar life situation as these
toddlers that you would find it much more distracting than music.
If you really believe that TV is so completely harmless then you
should be willing to put a television in your office, and whenever
you are in your office have the TV turned on, and the volume set to
a level that you could watch and hear the shows comfortably, and
find out for yourself if it really is a distraction or not.
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