Volume 92, Issue 14

Friday, September 25, 1998

it was sugar


Television can not be a parent

Re: Cuddling the television, Sept. 22

To the Editor:

Although there are things worse than a TV baby, I think that the author of the recent opinion entitled "Cuddling the television" is severely mistaken if she believes that a television can replace a parent. The author stated that "interaction is key for infants to surpass certain developmental stages."

This is certainly true. Furthermore, I have no doubt that the quality of this interaction has a great deal of impact on how the developmental stages are surpassed. Although a television is interactive, the interaction is in one direction.

Unlike a living, breathing human being, the television program does not react to any action taken by the child. The television is unable to hold or comfort a child nor is it able to answer the multitude of questions asked by a developing mind.

Children can tell the difference between a parent that puts in the time and effort to be there versus the parent that sets their child in front of the television for long periods of time. The parent that takes the time and puts in the effort shows the child that he or she is important. Parents that set their children in front of the television for hours on end show their children that they are an inconvenience and nuisance that must be dealt with.

Anyone who thinks that children cannot tell the difference is fooling themselves. I was fortunate to have parents that put in the effort to spend time with me during those first few critical years. It is unfortunate that this opportunity is not given to everyone.

Ben Stephenson

Computer Science II

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998