A conversation between prospective parents, about taking children seriously.
A satirical piece.
When children know that if their parents deem them to be watching too much TV, their parents will ban TV-watching, they self-coercively limit their watching out of fear of losing it altogether.
Even the junkiest of junk television can be superbly educational—by sparking questions and enjoyable conversations.
Children have to do what they themselves think is right, with no pressure whatsoever—that’s what non-coercion amounts to—but they also have a right to be told morality as best we see it.
Getting children to ‘agree’ to TV limits is coercive, and pretending that it is non-coercive.
No sample can be large enough to control for all the variables in any experiment involving human psychology, because the variables include the ideas in people’s minds, and he number of possible ideas that a single mind could hold is far greater than the number of people on Earth.
Lighten up about babies watching TV! 🙂 Trust yourself, and trust your baby. You can’t plan for every eventuality, so enjoy things as they come to you.
What children learn from soap operas is how to live in our culture. Parents naturally want their children to rise above the culture—to reject its false ideas, if you like—but to do that, one has to start from the culture one is in, and improve it. There is no way of jumping to a better set of ideas without first criticising the existing ideas. The growth of knowledge begins with existing theories.
Suppose you suddenly found yourself in the body of a twelve-year-old child. Suppose that despite this physical transformation, your personality, your knowledge and every other aspect of your mind remained unchanged. How might this affect your life? This was the theme of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (entitled Rascals).
A Brit argues that an episode of The Simpsons is a moving classic of American culture.
Using love as leverage to double-bind children to obey—threatening to withdraw the relationship—is wrong. Children have a right to our love.
Television is a wonderfully educational medium. How can anyone possibly compare the richness of television with workbooks, let alone compare it unfavourably?