Sunday, October 23, 2005

Parents who blame TV or the internet for their child's problems

We hear it all the time from parents who can't control their kids. "TV is the cause of my child's bad behavior." That's bunk. Parents who stick their kid in front of the TV all day instead of teaching them the difference between right and wrong are the ones who are at fault. The fact that the kids might get some bad values from the TV is a direct result of the kids being ignored... not the TV itself.

If parents spend time with their kids and simply teach them what is (or is not) acceptable, then the kids will more easily be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy on the tube.

When I was a kid, I was extremely sheltered by Bible-thumping parents. I wasn't even allowed to watch Scooby Doo because it had ghosts. Aside from the fact that they always turned out to be some guy in a ghost costume, my parents decided that it was inappropriate for a child to watch. Instead, I was only allowed to watch such parent-approved shows such as Mr. Rogers and Anne of Green Gables.

How did this affect me? I turned out horribly. I'm a bad person. Bad, bad, bad. You know "the guy your mnother warned you about"? I'm not him. I'm the guy your mother never even knew existed in her worst nightmares.

But is this because of TV? Nope. I was a smart kid, and I could always tell the difference between reality and fantasy. What negatively affected me was poor parenting skills, plain and simple. Sure, they meant well, and their heart was in the right place, but they screwed up.

On the other side of the coin, there's the parents who let their kids watch anything they want, and who purchase inappropriate games for their 8 year old kids. Don't get me wrong... I love GTA: Vice City, for example, but it's obviously not appropriate for an impressionable 8 year old boy.

The bottom line is this... Bad TV doesn't make bad kids. Bad PARENTS make bad kids.

If you want your kid to grow up relatively well adjusted, you need to teach them moderation. Moderate alcohol. Moderate partying. Moderate exercise. Everything is ok, as long as it's in moderation. Too much of anything is bad for you. Even too much oxygen is bad for you, so obviously too much of something bad for you is going to be worse.

Angry Internet Guy says, "Be a good parent. Spend some quality time beating your kids."