The average U.S. household has at least one TV set turned on for about seven hours a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics' recommends that a child watch no more than one to two supervised hours of TV a day. Yet the average school-aged child watches 27 hours of television per week (some preschoolers watch much more). And most of the time, they are unsupervised by a parent or responsible adult.
Here’s an interesting fact. Did you know that kids today spend twice as much time in front of a TV or computer as in the classroom? Children spend about five hours watching television, playing computer games or online each day—that’s 2,000 hours a year! Yet, they only spend 900 hours in class and 1,270 hours with their parents.
Do you allow your kids to watch this much TV or stay on the computer this long?
Did you also know that much of what your child is watching is intended for adults and that TV shows contain approximately 20 violent acts per hour?
Do you supervise your children while watching TV or using a computer? You should.
I also found the habits of parents in other countries interesting. Japanese kids watch about four hours of television every day, yet they continue to outscore American kids on all standardized test. Why? Japanese parents not only monitor but control what their kids watch. Japanese parents tie television watching to homework (i.e. watching more educational shows and the completion of homework before watching TV. Wow, there goes that parenting thing again—and it didn’t cost any money.
Chinese children are not even allowed to go out with friends or watch television on school nights—they to school six nights a week. They are expected to be responsible, work on their own, do their homework, and do well.
You see, it’s all about priorities. We must make parenting, education, and saving a priority in our families. Parenting is not just something you do because you had kids. You should have had the kids only after you knew you wanted to and were ready to be a parent. While public schools have their share of problems, I contend that too many of our children come to school ill prepared to learn and expect schools to fix these problems. Mark Michaelis in “The Seven Big Problems In High School,” summed it up this way:
"In the 1940s a survey listed the top seven discipline problems in public schools: talking, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, getting out of turn in line, wearing improper clothes, not putting paper in wastebaskets. A 1980s survey lists these top seven: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery, assault. (Arson, gang warfare and venereal disease are also-rans.)"
After reading this, do you still feel public schools share much of the blame for your child's lack of academic success? If so, would you please tell me why?
Keep this in mind; over the course of a year, children spend more time watching TV than they spend in school or participating in any other activity except sleep. If one of these kids is yours; you need to reset your priorities. So, the next time your kid reaches for the remote or the laptop, give them a book instead. Better yet, read the book with them. After all, if your kid is not doing well in school, it’s your fault.
Do you send your children to school ready to learn?