The debate in homeschooling families- and particularly unschooling families- is endless. Invariably many of my unschooling yahoo lists will come round to this topic about once every 3 months. I find in general most families that I talk with make up a set of rules then find evidence that backs up their own theories- really this is what we all do when it comes to our own ideas and beliefs. I never read an article on the pros of ferberizing your baby with out wanting to scream. Anything I read about the pros of a family bed I am smug with my “rightness”. Same with the TV issue. I am a big believer in freedom of thought and speech and no censorship. This can sometimes clash with parenting when my 8 year old daughter wants to watch a too sexy music video. Not to mention the clash with my husband! Part of me thinks- this is part of life and better that I sit down with her and comment on the video- that I think the clothes are over the top, that the video may be exploiting women , etc. rather than just out and out ban it. The other part of my longs to keep her innocent. Maybe rather than have to ban the material all together we can just not have TV and/or cable in the house. And so the struggle goes.
There are other issues inherent to the TV watching debate.
Myth: TV replaces interaction with people. Not in my house. TV has been springboard for many conversations. Today we watched a John Lennon music DVD. In 20 minutes we discussed fame, murder, Tiananmen square. consequences of murder, what a protest is, civil disobedience and the concept of revolution. The music was pretty good too.
Myth: Watch only educational shows. Who am I to say if some one is learning something from a television show or not? I can’t imagine walking in on my husband and telling him not to watch a show because I didn’t like it or thought it had no value. My daughter loves a show called That’s So Raven. It is unwatchable to me. It has value to her however. She laughs at silly jokes and the predictably of it. Occasionally she learns something- her first questions about racism were sparked by an episode where the lead character doesn;t get hired because she is black. Even without that lesson- there is value in laughing and being silly. Doing nothing in my mind is doing something