The tune out you speak of is more a product of an active imagination than television. The "taking over of your mind" is really just your mind mulling over the themes, ideas, and perspectives communicated through visual and audible media. Great media and stories will
take flight in your imagination - what's wrong with that!? That's one of the great things about being a kid! Of course, you shouldn't allow your kid unbridled access to media, television, and video games, but are y'all really saying "no television and video games before a certain age?" There are so many great educational video games for kids, essentially "tricking" them into learning in a fun an engaging way.
I feel like there's a lot of space between "allowing your kids to watch whatever they want on cable tv" and "we don't have a television." PBS, documentaries, especially those about nature can expose children to natural wonders and stir curiosity at a young age. Visual media and video games stirred some of my first passions, in history, politics, macro-problem solving (thanks Age of Empires!), and science. The key as a parent is to be discerning, to find what media will benefit your children and at what age certain topics are appropriate. Saying "television is always bad for young children" is like saying screens are intrinsically bad for society. Moderation is key - especially if looking at screens is damaging your health. And linking me to a Cracked.com article about television is not a good source.
On the issue of video game addiction. Please point me to some established science on video games being "addicting." I think that is definitely the wrong term to use here. Plenty of people are addicted to gambling. Just like there are "levels" of intensity when it comes to gambling $1,000 and playing a game of poker for a candy bar, there are also levels of engaging and enveloping video games. It seems arcane to shut a child off entirely
from screens and television in this highly modern age. Perhaps I've misunderstood.
It's also important to read the sources and truly understand what the studies you are citing are saying. In this case, the article you pointed me to says that kids who watch a light amount of tv (not NO tv) are brighter than "heavy TV" watchers.
For this we’re going to reach back to a 1980 study, which makes it no less relevant today, published in the Journal of Broadcasting. This study included 625 students in the sixth through ninth grades attending a suburban-rural public school, where researchers compared high I.Q. students who were heavy TV watchers with equally bright students who watched little TV. They found significantly higher scores on a reading comprehension test among the low TV viewers. (5)
Many people with ADD/ADHD can actually be very productive with a television on in the background. I have literally written an entire book and done all the research while watching through endless seasons of television and random movies on Netflix. Sure, watching certain television can
stifle creativity, but it's often in how you consume the media and what sort of media you choose to consume.
See this NYT article
on how TV can have some good effects. I love this description of the allure of reality television:
Reality programming borrowed another key ingredient from games: the intellectual labor of probing the system's rules for weak spots and opportunities. As each show discloses its conventions, and each participant reveals his or her personality traits and background, the intrigue in watching comes from figuring out how the participants should best navigate the environment that has been created for them. The pleasure in these shows comes not from watching other people being humiliated on national television; it comes from depositing other people in a complex, high-pressure environment where no established strategies exist and watching them find their bearings. That's why the water-cooler conversation about these shows invariably tracks in on the strategy displayed on the previous night's episode: why did Kwame pick Omarosa in that final round? What devious strategy is Richard Hatch concocting now?
When we watch these shows, the part of our brain that monitors the emotional lives of the people around us -- the part that tracks subtle shifts in intonation and gesture and facial expression -- scrutinizes the action on the screen, looking for clues. We trust certain characters implicitly and vote others off the island in a heartbeat. Traditional narrative shows also trigger emotional connections to the characters, but those connections don't have the same participatory effect, because traditional narratives aren't explicitly about strategy. The phrase ''Monday-morning quarterbacking'' describes the engaged feeling that spectators have in relation to games as opposed to stories. We absorb stories, but we second-guess games. Reality programming has brought that second-guessing to prime time, only the game in question revolves around social dexterity rather than the physical kind.
Define 'modern psychology.' What is now known that until recently was unknown? If spanking results in a child changing behavior in a way that is desirable to the parent, how do you draw a conclusion from 'modern psychology' that the child should not be spanked despite the potential result?
Here are some recent publications about spanking and its impact on child development. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mor ... d-all-kidshttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241298.php
Science offers the possibility to empirically prove things. I feel like your question is essentially "how can you trust science?" Are you challenging my assumptions at a basic level or more specifically about my claim?
You think you're radical
But you're not so radical
In fact, you're fanatical