A cousin of mine touched base with an unusual problem. she was shifting to a new house and did not know where to place the television….the living room or the dining room. The reason for her dilemma was that her two children aged 12 and 6 did not eat until the TV was swtiched on. I had once had the misfortune to visit them during lunchtime and saw the kids sitting on a pile of newspapers spreadout on the bed while their mother fed them by turns. the children were younger then and i was surprised to hear her problem as i had figured that by this time the children would have outgrown their habit. but it seems to have grown by leaps and bounds and has invaded households like wild-fire ever since Cartoon Network made an appearance. and the parents are also to be blamed to a large extent. as a side-effect of living life on the fast lane, the parents cannot devote enough time to feed the children. they found an easier way out. fix the child infront of the television and spoon in the food. the hapless child would be glued to the pictures and would gulp down whatever was being dished out.
i remember when i was a child my mother would not mind if it took hours to feed me. she made up imaginery stories and had me enthralled. i was allowed to roam around the room but as soon as i had eaten the mouthful i would return to base and take in the next. and i was completely aware of what i was eating. when i was a little older, she made me sit on the dinner table like the others so that i would feel important and grown up. my mum had the time to spare and there were no 24 hrs television channels then.
Most mothers these days are short of resources as couples set up homes by themselves. and to accomplish their tasks they do not hesitate to experiment with new tools. the cartoon channel came in handy to manage children. they are left by themselves to entertain themselves. but this has led to the emergence of a heavily addicted band of children. their addiction to the channel runs so high that i have seen them holdng solitary rights on the television remote while the rest of the hapless family look on as cartoons wreck havoc all through the day. and all this between the age group of 2 to 10. To add further fuel, Cartoon Network introduced the concept of Tiny TV, two hours in the morning dedicated to entertain their “tiny” viewers between the age of 2 and 5 who do not spend much time at school.
These days, some parents are waking up to the damage done and taking drastic steps like banning children from watching television, cutting off the cable TV connections at home or locking the cartoon channel. But instead of changing habits, such measures are causing wide-spread resentment among the children who feel deprived of a regular habit.
I just hope people try to exercise moderation and control before its too late.