Saturday, March 3, 2012
1. Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional
2. Arising from or marked by careful consideration
3. Unhurried in action, movement, or manner, as if trying to avoid error
I decided to limit my daughter's access to television, deliberately. Several people just dismiss my decision to limit television because they assume I'm fearful about modern culture's influence on my daughter, etc. But that's not it, at least not entirely. I am conscious that television influences kids and characters on television model behaviors and ideals I probably don't want my kids to emulate, but I am even more conscious of television's basic affect on our home's environment. I wanted to create a place where my daughter would find it easy to read and televisions just aren't conducive to that.
Have you ever seen a television on inside a library or a bookstore? I see them inside bars and restaurants all the time, but never in libraries or bookstores. I'm sure this is also a deliberate choice by the bookstore owners and librarians because they understand that television distracts people from focusing on books. Even people who really enjoy reading would find it next to impossible to focus on books if a newscaster comes on a television screen above their heads while they were reading.
I think many parents assume wrongly that if their child is a "reader," if he enjoys reading, he will stop whatever he is doing and choose to read a book instead, regardless of the fact that the television is on all the time. That may be true for some kids and some grown ups at random times, but it isn't true for most people most of the time, even those who consider themselves "readers."
People marvel at how much my daughter reads. But I don't marvel at it because I understand it is a direct result of deliberate decisions on my part. I wanted my daughter to be free to read here most of the day. By turning off the t.v. deliberately, I've created a home environment that more closely resembles a library than a restaurant and therefore, Norah is more likely to read.