Monday, June 12, 2006

DVDs are Fundamental (circa 2005)

There is a new disease infecting our community. It specifically targets our children and younger adults. No, I am not speaking of a new strain of HIV/AIDS or violence, but rather something more heinous and without a viral etiological connection. I am speaking specifically of our ability to read as well as our desire for the written word.

This is not an issue of having a skill deficit by rather the failure of seeing reading as being important and essential. I was taught that it was my duty to read all I could get my hands on, and this was not just limited to the sports page, horoscopes or what my particular subject interest may be. I often remind my son that more than 150 years ago, during the period of American slavery, it was illegal for slaves to learn to read and that if they were found out of having such a skill, they were punished by being blinded, having their tongue cut out, or death.

Now I am not going to place blame on the school system, since the foundation for reading should be established in the home, nor will I attach this reduction to external elements of the environment such as television, cable and the new age culture of music videos and play station consoles.

Albeit these are required to understand the lack of love and pleasure our children should or would find in reading, the most significant factor is the home. If we truly concerned ourselves with this issue, then we would elevate reading over other past times, particularly in environments where reading should flourish such as in the car. I don’t claim to have all of the answers but I do know, if we were concerned with this, we would have books and newspapers in the back seats of our cars and trucks instead of video screens and DVDs.

12 comments:

Miz JJ said...

I agree so much with this post. Children are so over mediated these days. They're constantly being stimulated so when they need to sit still and engage in an actiivty with minimal stimulation (reading, church, school) they think it is boring. It's sad.

GC (God's Child) said...

Shoot your TV!

I like Miz JJ's word: overmediated.

Emanuel Carpenter said...

I started early with my son by reading to him when he was very young. Then I bought him fun toys from JumpStart that helped him to learn to read and enjoy it. I joined a children's book club through the mail and got him all the classics like Cat in the Hat and Mother Goose fables. All this happened before his first day of school.

My kid is 10 now. He's a year ahead in school and makes the honor roll every year. And while there are other distractions like Playstation, DVDs and Yugio on TV are still available, he still enjoys reading and even joins summer reading programs at the local library.

My point is, it's all about what parents do to make their kids want to learn to read and enjoy doing it.

(P.S. I don't believe you need to shoot your TV. Just don't make it your babysitter.)

Brea said...

I absolutely hate those big gas guzzling SUVs that have TV screens to pacify the children riding in them. Gee, I wonder what type of person that child will end up being? Blech! I remember car rides as a time for playing fun games with my parents. Guess fewer people have time for such "nonsense" theses days. It makes me sick!

Anonymous said...

You are right it seems that most kids right now r headed into darkness because they r so busy playing video games, hanging out at the malls, or eating junk. Education is the key, this is the only thing that can never be taken from u. Knowledge is the only thing that can "emancipate us from mental slavery". The children need to know that and it needs to come from their parents instead of depending on the school system that doesn't even teach us any of our true history.
-Lioness

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