ehawkinswrite

Monday, May 01, 2006

I went to the house of Christina and David Neiswander one Sunday afternoon. I

spent time with Christina, a mother and teacher, and her daughter, Grace, who is about

four years old. Christina has been teaching for over 10 years in Colonial Heights Public

Schools. She enjoys working with kindergarteners, however more and more in the last

several years she has been faced with the problem of competing with television programs

in her lessons. She informed me that she tries to keep television out of her classroom; the

kids need a break from it. She does this knowing that most of them will go home and

spend the afternoon and evening watching television. An article found in IDEA Health

and Fitness states, “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children

watch no more than 1-2 hours of television per day. However, the average child in the

United States watches 2-3 hours per day.” (IDEA Fitness Journal 2006) Parents far too

often are using the television as a babysitter. Many know it is not right but continue to do

it for their sanity. Christina watches as her students are picked up every afternoon. The

children want to know what they are doing, right away. “Normally mom answers that

they are going to the store or running errands. The children start to complain, but then

they want to know what movie they can watch in the car.” This apparently settles them.

However, parents are loosing valuable time to talk with their children, all so they can

watch a movie in the car. All of these things baffle Christina who refuses to use the

television as a babysitter. “Not to say that it does not happen, but David and I try very

hard to avoid it. Besides, most of the time Grace would rather read or color than sit in

front of the television.”

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