Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kids, Eyes and Video Tapes

I just read an article about people who have been sitting their infant children in front of DVDs that supposedly teach them language skills. The sad thing is, that a study done by the University of Washington and the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute lead by one Professor Frederick Zimmerman claims that “For every hour a day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants between 8 and 16 months old understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who didn't watch them.”

Well aint that some surprise to this poor dumb hillbilly. Gee, you mean if I DON’T interact with my children but instead plant them in front of a video screen they will learn less than if I DID interact with them? Folks, sometimes I wonder about WTF these highly educated young parents of today’s society think is really important. I’d bet that many of these parents who have sloughed off their parental responsibilities to some stranger in some unknown locale who authored some mindless DVD are the same ones we see cruising down the interstate highways with their children in the back seat watching movies on a video screen that pops down from the ceiling. WTF?! Don’t you want your kids to observe and be aware of the world around them? Don’t you want your children to understand what is going on in the world and be situationally aware of their environment? What is the matter with you people? Is it really so difficult for you to deal with your children that you need to shut them away in front of a video screen so that they will sit transfixed for hours at a time while you do whatever mundane unimportant shit that you occupy your time with? Why did you have those little darlings to begin with? Just to say you could? I’ve got news for you moron; I can show you plenty of ignorant hillbillies with not even a high school education who have populated the world with likewise ignorant little hillbillies. You having kids is no accomplishment to hang your hat on. Check back with me in 20 yrs and we’ll talk about you child rearing “accomplishments.”

That leads me to another different but related topic. . . think long and hard young parent about what you are doing today. The same goes for you young non-parents. When you hit mid to late middle age there will come a point in time where you will suddenly get all wide eyed and say “what the fuck was I thinking? Why the fuck did I decide to do that?!” Yea, you will. It doesn’t matter what you do today, it doesn’t matter if you listen to every word I say and try your hardest to avoid it, you WILL eventually say that, it’s just a matter of how traumatically it effects you.

Here are a few things you might want to consider:
Pursue your passions. Nothing else really matters in life. Don’t settle for some dead end job that you tolerate because it pays well. Dig deep inside and figure out what and who you want to be and then BE IT.
Decide what’s important in life for you. If having kids is it, then go for it. Do it with passion. Do it with all the intellectual ability you can muster. Make it the most important thing in your life. Grow your common sense around them. If something else is more important to you, then don’t bother with the kids. There are enough slack jawed morons running around in the world today. No sense in you contributing to the pool.
Now, did I say that if you have kids you can’t do anything else? NO! You can do lots of things and pursue lots of passions, but the kids need to be the #1 top drawer item on your agenda and YOUR actions need to reflect that commitment. . . or, you can just travel along through life grasping at whatever bullshit the corporate marketing bottom feeders (yea, that puts you on the bottom below them) shove down your throat hoping that it all solves your problems, makes your children smarter and you more beautiful. G’luck with that.

Ok, back to the kids in front of the video screen. . .


furryriverrat said...

To me, there has always been something a bit icky about parents who want their kids to be "Baby Einsteins". I am not for dumbing down or placing the kid in front of Cartoon Planet either but the idea of attempting to make a savant out of a 1 year old just seems a bit self absorbed on the parental level.

My daughter in law has bought some of the CDs that you talk about and rather than use them as baby sitters, she uses them as aids to help my granddaughter learn as they watch them TOGETHER, instead of the mindless drivel that is most of broadcast tv.

Will my granddaughter get those additional 6 words added to her vocabulary? Don't know, don't really care. I am just glad that she is getting a lot of love, support, guidance and FACE TIME from her mom.

You know. The things you were suggesting a child really needs.

Now if we could end the war and pay down the deficit and let her not grow up in a world that is far poorer, far dirtier, far meaner and far more dangerous than the one we grew up in.

Inanna said...

Ha! My child didn't sit down for three years after he started walking. He had to learn the old fashioned way... by following mom and dad and asking, "Whazzat?" a lot.