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Teacher or TV?

Ninety-two percent of parents believe

TV is too violent or too sexually oriented, according to Brent Bozell,

president of the Media Research Council, the largest media watchdog

organization in the United States.

And yet, \"two-thirds of children in the U.S. have televisions in

their bedrooms — provided by their parents,\" said Bozell, in his

presentation at the World Congress of Families.

  • According to the statistics of the Media Research Council, most children:watch about 28 hours of television a week
  • spend more time watching television than any other activity
  • spend, by the time they graduate from high school, more time in front of a TV set than in front of a teacher.

\"So, who is the teacher?\" asked Bozell. \"Is it the teacher or is it the television set?\"

Dr. Michael Rich, director of the center on media and child health

at the Children's Hospital of Boston addressed a similar issue: \"How

  • does the media effect kids' health?\"He said that studies show:
  • the number of hours a child watches television corresponds to the amount that he or she is overweighta child's attitude toward the use of tobacco, alcohol and other

drugs is strongly influenced by media portrayals of cool and attractive

  • movie stars using themyouth who watch more sexual material on television have double the

risk of initiating sex, compared to youth who are not as exposed to sex

  • in the mediawatching violence on television can make kids more aggressive in their thoughts and behaviors.

\"We are interested in learning to live with media in ways that are

healthy and safe,\" Rich said. \"I'd like to find ways to use them — as

they are some of the most potent tools we have in society today — to

promote physical and mental health in kids.\"

The center is helping parents understand that the use of media will

change their child and that children learn from what they see and hear

on television or play in interactive games.

\"Parents do have control of the situation,\" Rich said, \"as they use

the media in safe and healthy ways to teach their children.\" He urged

parents to teach their children how to evaluate the media they use.

Please share positive examples of how you use the television and other media in your home to teach your children.