Is TV a Valuable Teaching Tool?

TV and Movies are one of the most effective babysitters in modern history. Need to get dinner made? Pop in a movie. Can’t seem to get all the laundry folded with a toddler under foot? Turn on a TV show. The question remains whether turning on a movie or TV program is beneficial to your kids.

Largely, I would argue that it is not beneficial, but in recent months I have seen a little benefit.

Is this quality family time?

Is this quality family time?

Signing Time has probably been the biggest proponent in my change of heart. Learning some basic sign language to use in our every day life has reduced the tantrums by Little Miss, and increased her vocabulary. Yes, we can get sign language books, but the DVDs really brought it to life. I bought a different (cheaper) sign language DVD recently and it just didn’t have the same entertainment value, so you end up not watching it.

High quality programming can draw children in, and if there’s a positive message behind it, everyone benefits. I do like the Adam’s World DVDs, though I wish there was something a little more modern. I’d love to read reviews of the Zaky DVDs and The Fables of Ba Ya Ba! 

So, what about the regular programming we find on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel? Most times I don’t find these types of programming beneficial, especially anything from the Disney Channel. What happened to Disney? When did Disney turn from princesses and heros to snotty kids with stupid parents? Hubby is great at noticing these types of tones in programming, and within ten minutes of seeing a show on Disney Channel at a friend’s house he pointed out how all the adults are depicted as being foolish. I don’t get why adults would make a program that shows adults in general as no smarter than the 4-5 year old little sibling. PBS is still the shining light of television from what I can tell, but I should admit I’m a bit out of the loop since we don’t have a live TV signal in our home. Are there better channels out there?

We are insha’Allah trying to move from Disney movies I collected while Care Bear was little (and I was less observant of the message presented) and towards programming that is beneficial, and ideally has less of a romantic story to it. I’m not quite sure why all these kids movies have to have a love story to them, and I blame them for Little Miss always making her Little People kiss when she plays with them (smile). Insha’Allah we’ll keep making progress, and giving reviews along the way. 

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