Philadelphia- Parents of young children are now urged to allow unlimited TV time, a recent study suggests. Television, computers and other self-described zoning-out electronic devices, despite offering little to no educational value and leaving children and adults dull-minded and apathetic do have their benefits.
According to Rolfe Hamburger, PhD and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children are raised in front of the TV, which stunts their growth and leaves them virtually unable to interact socially with other children. “That’s OK,” Hamburger suggests, “because the bar for ‘normal childhood behavior’ has now been lowered dramatically.” What has become a concern, Hamburger and his team of constituents contend, is the relatively miniscule but growing number of children whose parents don’t allow their kids to watch anyTV.
“These new ‘superkids’,” Hamburger says, “have a strong ability to communicate, keen interpersonal skills and a capacity to remain focused on tasks for longer than a minute, most likely because they’ve never been propped in front of the TV for four hours straight while Mom takes a cigarette break and gabs on the phone.” But, he warns, “these kids are becoming a drain on society and all the other children who can’t seem to cope with them on the playground.”
According to the study, which was conducted among a group of 30,000 randomly selected seven-year-old boys and girls across America, and which rated their TV-watching habits, “one in seventeen American children is placing unreasonable and excessive demands on his classmates by expecting them to play, interact and engage in actual dialog.” The study determined that less than .00001% of the population of children in America are not watching TV or playing video games, but rather “playing outside,” “doing activities with their parents,” or “reading books.”
Hamburger and pediatricians like him are “disturbed” by the findings.
“This puts a growing rift in our society,” Philip Locklear, DO, a local pediatrician from Chestnut Hill says. “No adult wants to be confronted with his own self-deprecating sluggishness and ineptitude, let alone a child. And that’s what happens in the presence of these kids. They are a constant reminder of the shame we now endure as adults for spending so many hours watching The Dukes of Hazard when we were kids.”