Madonna raised some eyebrows when she declared that “TV is trash" and that she does not let her children Lourdes and Rocco watch TV, save one movie on the weekend. Madonna: “We have TVs but they're not hooked up to anything but movies. TV is trash. I was raised without it. I didn't miss anything. TV is poison. "
Getting rid of the family TV is not as horrible as it may sound. In fact, not allowing her children to watch TV is perhaps the best decision Madonna could make as a parent. It was certainly the best decision I made for my children and me. Here are the top ten reasons why Madonna is right:
1. Heavy TV watchers are twice as likely to be obese.
2. Average US parent spends only 38 min/week in meaningful conversation with children.
3. TV viewing in young children is associated with ADHD symptoms later on.
4. Viewing TV violence is the single strongest predictor of aggression later in life, according to 32-year-study.
5. Children witness 16,000 TV murders by age 18.
6. Viewers are exposed to 40,000 commercials per year on average.
7. Commercials influence in an estimated $300 Billion/year in sales.
8. Students who watched an hour/day or less scored the best on achievement tests.
9. TV is addictive.
10. The Average American watches four hours of TV per day. There is simply so much else to do in life.
As a parent, I encourage you to make your own decision about what to do with your TV. Don't take Madonna's word or mine. Take note of the amount of time you watch TV. Then consider if there is something better you could do as a family. Also, the next time the TV is playing just look into your precious children's eyes as they assume a zombie-like stare. Then take note of how many times your child nags for something she saw on TV. Finally, take our TV Addiction Quiz and measure how much TV is controlling your life.
Once you really examine the costs and benefits of watching TV, you will probably agree that the former Material Girl is right. TV is trash. Trash Your TV.
Katherine Westphal is the founder of a daring new website Trash Your TV !, that makes it fun and easy for people to get control of their TV set. Are you addicted to TV? Take our TV Addiction Quiz and find out!