Friday, June 21, 2013

Too much TV?

Off late Abhay has been watching too much television and no amount of his grandparents’ goading or coaxing is successful in weaning him from the idiot box!  Until recently I have been priding over the fact (and thus jinxed it!) that my little one hardly watches any television at home and instead turns to his LEGOs or his crayons or books as soon as he returns home from school! Cut to the present scene – no sooner does Abhay return home than the television is turned on and remains so for the rest of the evening until I get back from work.  More so, I have serious reservations about the quality of the children’s programming in India and believe that we are years, if not decades behind our counterparts in the West. Frankly, I believe that our kids deserve much better than the animated Japanese series dubbed in English or the home-grown action heroes devoid of any depth or relevance!  If not for the music and  drawing class that he has been signed up for thrice a week, Abhay would be watching TV for over 2-3 hours straight even on weekdays until one of us shows up and turns it off, much to his annoyance!  But during school holidays, especially when I am away at work (when his absolute rule prevails at home!) he turns into a no-holds-barred- one-hundred-per-cent couch potato!

In an attempt to lure him away from the TV temptation, I read “Too much TV” a Berenstain Bears adventure by Stan and Jan Berenstain. As Brother and Sister bears  return home from school on a fine spring afternoon, they rush inside hardly saying a hello to their mother and take their cookies and milk into the living room to watch television! ( home!) Soon their papa joins them in watching the “Nutty Bear show” when mama decides to do something about too much TV in the Berenstain household. Mama bear announces the “No TV for a week” rule, much to the shock of not only Brother and Sister bear, but also Papa bear! As Papa bear goes on to support Mama bear’s dictum, little does he realize that the said ban applies to him and his sports shows too. Initially, the Berenstain household can’t seem to get by without television, and slowly but surely the kids find other things to do after school – like biking and trekking. However it isn't easy as they have to miss even the special programs and reluctantly follow their Mama as she takes them outside to watch the stars. But as they head outdoors, the bear family come under the spell of the panoramic view of the star-studded night sky which was very special than anything they’d seen on TV. Over the next few days, the bear family did  varied activities other than watching TV – going on nature walk, watching a spider spin its magnificent web, shopping with mama, but they had to keep tabs on papa who was often caught sneaking a look at a game show in an electronic store when they shopping at a country mall or tiptoed into the living room to catch a late night movie!  Before they know it, one whole week goes without TV! The bear cubs then ask mama bear as to what problem does she have with television (just like Abhay asks all the time!) to which mama bear denies having any problem with television but admits that she is against the TV habit – sitting in front of it all day like old stumps waiting for dry rot to set in! While both Brother and Sister bear vowed to watch TV the whole of the next day as the “No TV week” had ended, it turned out that the only one who did watch all day was Papa! So Abhay …there are other interesting things to do around and outside the house besides watching TV…what do you say? Are you up for a whole week without TV?


  1. Divya,
    t isnot easy with every one to follow the NO T.Vweek,you know!!!

  2. i agree 100% Divya, with the programs in our kids channels and with the too much TV habit very nice post...No TV, the change has to come from within, otherwise after the No TV week it will be the same state, bear family engaged the kids with outing, biking, trekking etc, at home with some other activities...if we have the time to do it, I am sure they will be out of this idiotic habit...Not only mama everyone has to cooperate otherwise thats really hard to bring in to practice.