Especially for the childrenHandle television with care [Archives:2004/794/Community]

November 29 2004

By Samia Al-Nabhani
Taiz Bureau

The Arab family is better than the western one in terms of social cohesion, but it has less facilities and its motion is limited. The Arab family has no institutions to help it and no laws to protect it economically and politically. Child upbringing is not only the responsibility of the family but the modern technology and the devices introduced by it to the world have their share in the child upbringing.

The family
The Arab family cannot provide the adequate protection for its individuals from any technological invasion, which always encompasses it. Cultivating children and implanting love in their hearts cannot keep them away from the violent world.
Most of the reputed Arab figures, whom we know suffered a lot for the sake of survival, and this took years of their youth before they tasted success when they became old.
Figures published by the human organizations about Arab children who join the labor market at an early age arouse horror inside ourselves. There are many little children who shoulder the entire responsibility of their families in many rural and urban areas across the Arab World.
In its magazine published in 2002, the U.S.A. prevented numerous deals of ready-made clothes manufactured by one of the Arab countries from being purchased because it explored that laborers in such factories are children below the work age.
By this we feel guilty either of the deliberate killing of children or denying their basic rights for education. The pressure of life caused the loss of contact between different generations.
In a study focusing on the time parents take for serous talk with their children, it has been revealed that in the Netherlands time allocated for this does not exceed more than a few minutes a day. The American children were the luckiest as they have a few more minutes a day to talk with their parents.
One of the researchers majoring in child studies stated that what matters is not the duration but it includes the quality of talk between children and their parents.
A lack of time in turn breeds negative attitude in children toward their parents. The child may lose confidence in itself, feels that he lives alone, so he resorts to watching T.V. and playing with electronic toys.
Children are in persistent need of the exchange of thoughts and ideas with those who are elder than him. By this they develop their style of thought and self-confidence. Numerous research affirmed that children receiving support and encouragement from their parents are happier and show more, concentrating on their education and others.
Parents who support their children are divided into 1) those who attempt to create self -motivation in their children and 2) those who feel satisfied only at helping their children in the fields they are interested in. Children belonging to the second category are often found happier but not better in terms of achievement than those who belong to the first category of parents.
The upbringing of a child is not only limited to the family and the educational institution but the modern technology and its products has a big share in the process.
Lilian Lorsa a female scientist at Child Studies Institute (CSI) in America said, “if we want to understand the child of today who became a T.V. viewer before being enrolled in school and the danger of television does not only affect learning , it has been affirmed that those who spend more than one hour and a half hour of time before the TV screen are not good at reading , writing and mathematics. Moreover they stick to this habit at the expense of their concentration in the classroom.
The television has its influence on the personality of the child. He usually feels content with what appears in the screen, and such satisfaction is the beginning of the unconscious imitation. The child as a result loses perception of all what he does.
The Egyptian Al-Hawadith Magazine mentioned in one of its articles the tragic incidence of the child who jumped off a tall building in the city of Cairo to assert himself more able to imitate the superman, the flying man in the T.V. program for children and adults.
The television affects the life of children and takes them early into the world of adults, a world of violence and contradiction. This is clearly apparent in motion pictures series that are full of beasts and war of stars and frightening shapes. Recent statistics released that the child who watches T.V. three hours a day is supposed to have seen at least 800 murder crimes and 100 scenes of violence.
A child says, ” I love watching the political programs.” When asked why? Because actors appear usually in growing disputes and speak about war and when it ends. I hate war and Israel but not Amro Mosa, he said.
The school also has its share in the child upbringing and it is considered one of the significant factors in developing the child. The school has to stop the traditional methods of teaching students audiolingually like parrots.

Intellectuals and scientists from the middle class
Scientists interested in the studies of gifted children noticed that 80 percent of them came from middle class families. The advancement of a society is measured by what this category of people brings forth of the educated cadres, active thinkers and leading figures.
Intellectuals keep on saying it is a troublesome category expecting to reach the prestige of the aristocratic one.
A clear-cut evidence is that the great blind intellectual Taha Hussein and Al-Aqqad were brought up in middle-class and needy families but proper upbringing and education have the virtue in making them great achievers. Taha Hussein however was blind but his heart and mind were active.
Children coming from the middle class families are found to read much more and love the collection of information but we can not deny that this category and its individuals are put under threat.
The problem of television is increasingly exacerbating in the Arab world and not only in our country. After having an access to the satellite broadcasting, it became impossible to control what is daily transmitted by the various space channels. The state became unable to do so leaving the task to the family.
Space channels convey to us a colorful dream of an advanced world living in open freedom. As the Arab family shoulders the entire responsibility alone, it has to put clear-cut policies to encounter this device (television). This device has to be employed in a better way since it is part of the life of children outside our own will.
Some studies stress that the child can acquire many linguistic skills from the T.V., besides buying books and newspapers.
Psychologists advise us to switch off the television when a frightening scene is viewed because such scenes accompany the child during his sleep.
On the other hand, the school is responsible for guiding the child and explaining to him how to differentiate between the picture he sees in the screen and the reality.
Our duty as Muslims is to implant in our children the Islamic teachings and morals and to give them the access to useful space channels and keep them away from others.