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Catholic Activity: Radio and Television

Television can greatly influence your child's behavior: be vigilant about what comes into your home. Here are some suggestions.

DIRECTIONS

If your child listens to the radio and watches television, you can observe their influence on his outward behavior. He mimics the style of speech, dress, and movement of his favorite character. He swaggers like a cowboy and space-hops all around the house. Sometimes you are startled and alarmed by the rough, coarse terms in his language, which he has probably acquired from radio or TV.

If these external effects are so obvious, remember that there are many imperceptible impressions. The child whose senses absorb by the hour violence, unkindness, bullying, and other undesirable traits, will very likely attempt to imitate them.

Television and radio demand your constant supervision. As parents, you have an inescapable duty to select carefully the programs your small child listens to or watches. Do not succumb to the temptations of permitting TV to “baby-sit” for you.

Discover beforehand what may come into your home by consulting one of the various kinds of TV guides or the local newspapers, both Catholic and secular. The late Pope Pius XII declared that television was not to be condemned, but on the contrary, to be considered as a possible influence for good when properly directed.

Give some constructive thought to the programs on radio and television. Help to cultivate a taste for wholesome entertainment. Approve only those programs which are honestly aimed at the child’s interest and which will develop his taste for the good, the true, and the beautiful. Accept the full scope of your responsibility in this matter. Honest and responsible public opinion, stated in letters to your local stations, can, and often does, act as a stabilizer by preventing the extreme in programming and direction. If there is an educational TV station within your reach, make it a practice to view those of its programs which are of interest or of value to you and your family.

Activity Source: From Stroller to School, Parent-Educator Series 2, Leaflets 13-24, Three to Six Years by Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1962

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