June 29, 2009

Prevent backtalk: turn on the television!

I knew it years ago, and in two studies released earlier this month and this week, I think both in peer reviewed journals, we have it confirmed: the best way to prevent teenagers from talking back to you is to turn on the television years earlier so that they don't develop the ability to talk back. So that spring day in 1996 when my wife and I decided to sell our television before moving to Tampa? A big mistake.

And there we were, deciding that we were advancing our children's interests. No, that wasn't it at all: they were 4 and 1 at the time, and we decided that since we didn't like their arguments over the television, we'd see how long we could go without one in the house.Answer: 13 years and counting. And no matter what arguments we have in our household, it's not about the channel the television's tuned to. Instead, it's about who gets the computer...

Serious side: The article released this week is more about the relationship between adult caregiver and child than about television, and it highlights the importance of one-to-one interactions at early ages. I suspect this will be followed by other analyses from the same data set.

Listen to this article
Tags: television
Posted in Personal on June 29, 2009 11:35 PM |