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© 2019 by Joyce Fetteroll

How can TV in any amount be okay?

i must admit, i am floored that so many of you on the list seem to feel exactly the same way: that television is ok in any amount.

 

No, I don't feel TV is ok in any amount.

 

I wouldn't say that books are ok in any amount because it isn't what a child is doing that's important, it's why the child is doing it. A child who reads all day long because he has many options and his parents appreciate the value in choosing what you want to do is in a good place. A child who reads all day because his mother picks at him constantly when he's in her presence isn't in a good place.

 

TV is a resource like any other. When given the ability to choose kids will use it when they need it and not use it when they don't, just like any other resource.

 

I haven't watched television regularly for about 10 years. for me, it is a decision i made long before being a mother-- it is not like i prevent emily from watching, and then go and watch it myself when she's asleep.

 

Is a nonreading parent who forbids her child to read more noble than a reading parent who forbids her child to read?

 

Part of getting unschooling is seeing the value in children exploring to discover what feels right and wrong to them, what works and what doesn't work for them. We've explored to discover what works for us. Unschooling creates a safe environment to allow our kids to do the same.

 

Obviously parents need to make some family decisions just because some members don't care as much. We've chosen the Unitarian church as being a good fit for the family. But my daughter can, and usually does, opt not to go. If she felt the need to explore other religions -- and we've read lots about them so she knows what they're about -- then I'd find a way to accommodate her needs.

 

i get the feeling that many of you are saying that this is not okay, that it is impossible to unschool without using television.

 

TV is like the library and the internet. While its possible to unschool without them -- some people live far from decent libraries and don't have internet access -- I question why anyone would voluntarily choose to cut themselves off from a valuable resource.

 

And if it's the family's decision -- including the kids -- not to watch TV, then there isn't anything to discuss. If it's the parents who are deciding to limit their children's access to the world (for poorly supported reasons) then I think that is worth discussing.

 

i have come to realize that for me it is an issue of thinking that our culture has values that i don't want to promote to my child, and television is the grand mascot for those values.

 

Another plausible belief. But does it match reality? Are unschooling children of families here dropping family values for TV values? My daughter sees other values on TV (and in books and in real life), but she can compare and contrast them to what is in her home and decide which feels better. So far her values are very similar to my husband's and mine.

 

I am living the values that are important to me. My daughter sees me living them, can ask questions why I've made the choices I do for myself, and that gives her information to decide what's right for her.

 

i will have no problems having tv in the house if my daughter insists on it when she is older.

 

Can a child freely choose something that she knows her parents disapprove of without feeling that her parents disapprove of her?

 

so the way i see it, there seem to be simple things i can do to make a difference and live closer to the life i want to live.

 

What if your daughter wanted a different life and decided you needed to live the way she wanted to? What if she wanted to stay up to 3 am because she felt night time hours were the most creative hours of the day? What if she made you stay up even though you found dawn hours to be more creative?

 

Why are the choices that are right for you also right for someone who is a totally different human being? How will she be able to decide what's right for her if she's limited to what's right for you?

 

i try to focus instead on spending as much time as we can together-- the only kind of passive activity i need on a regular basis is being in nature.

 

Then those are what you should choose for you. I'm sure you wouldn't want your husband or daughter to impose other values on you and make you adhere to their values.

 

If we live our values, it's likely our children will value them too. If we impose our values, it's likely our children will reject them.

 

 

Joyfully Rejoycing