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Television - The Great SATAN!

I've often thought that in 6 million years, archaeologists will marvel at the devotion the 21st century Earthlings had to their household gods. Excavation will show these deities in virtually every home, obviously objects of devotion, the focal point in a room. The gods were believed without question. Families emulated them, discussed them, and scheduled their lives around them. The parent was secondary in influence to the various versions of these boxes with a glass screen that captivated an entire civilization.

Despite the title of this article, I do not really think that we are all guilty of worshiping the god of the underworld. I am, however, quite turned off by the amount of affection and devotion we give to the unworthy television. Last week I was teaching a class of four year olds, and before the lesson began, one of the children informed me that she had to leave early so she could get home in time for American Idol. As a society, I'm afraid we truly have made television an idol ? and not just an American one. Studies disagree on how much we watch per week; studies agree that we watch too much.

My husband I refuse to give others remote control of our home, and have taken several steps to channel our boys away from the seductive and addictive influence of the television. We thank the major networks for loaning us their initials to broadcast our system to you:

CBS ? Cut the Box on Schooldays. Consider taking the extreme position of not allowing television on weekdays. This has earned us the title of 'most unreasonable parents in the school', but we wear it with pride. To soften our image, we allow television freedom on the weekends, after chores and homework.

MSNBC ? Make Summertime Nice. Bribe Children. During the nine weeks school is out, television time can be bought. For every minute spent on reading, we award time on the television or computer. We have an Excel spreadsheet that keeps up with time earned and spent. (If you're interested, email me and I'll send you a copy.)

FOX ? Filter Out X#$&%. What children watch is often worthless, at best. At its worst, television undermines everything we teach as it spews foul language, violence, casual attitudes about sex, and disrespect for authority. Our family uses TV Guardian to help with the language. The other negative elements are impossible to remove, which is why the television has an 'off' button.

NBC ? Note Basic Content. Teach your kids to evaluate a program by its main premise. "Aladdin" is one of my favorite movies, but it quite frankly glorifies being a thief. Gentle "E. T." leaves the impression that adults aren't to be trusted, and that dishonesty is justified when its purposes are noble. After watching a show, ask, "What did that movie just say? Was it a positive message or a negative one? How did it try to influence you?"

CNN ? Cultivate Natural iNquisitiveness. Try to broaden your world so that your children are interested in more than cartoons and sit-coms. Make friends with those from other cultures. Discuss world events. Travel and visit museums to pique interest in topics explored on The Discovery and History Channels.

BET ? Be Exemplary Teachers. A student doesn't rise above the teacher. Set a good example to your children by developing good viewing habits. Participate in National TV Turnoff Week April 21 ? 27, and evaluate how addicted to the television you are.

About The Author

Kayla Fay is the publisher of Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet and the author of The Spy Party, a cool birthday idea. Kayla and her husband have four sons, and only one television. Visit Kayla at http://www.goaskmom.com/ or write her at mailto:goaskmom@goaskmom.com.

In The News:

Memorial Day revelers who flock to the Jersey Shore are being advised to be wary of a real sting operation.
(Spoiler Alert!
SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket containing 60 satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida Thursday evening.
A family in Bainbridge, Ga., had the “surprise of a lifetime” when they found a massive alligator soaking in some sun in their front yard.
Two huge male rat snakes were caught fighting over a female in North Carolina, in a rare video.
Scientists have discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars’ north pole that could help unlock the Red Planet’s history.
Two orphaned bear cubs have been rescued from a huge 70-foot spruce tree in Canada.
Male Egyptian fruit bats will allow female bats to take food straight from their mouths and scientists believe they know why -- the bats are trading food for sex.
In May 2018, a startling study revealed that there was an "unexpected and persistent increase" of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere. At the time, scientists could not pinpoint the exact location of the ozone-depleting gas, but subsequent media reports suggested that the clues lead to a rural, industrial town in China. Now, a new study confirms that the rise in CFCs is indeed coming from northeastern China based on atmospheric observations.
A doughnut-loving bear is “staying out of trouble” after it traveled thousands of miles to return home, say wildlife officials.

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