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TV and Kids

The need to regulate children’s television watching habits is well appreciated in the west. Finally it seems to be dawning on educated middle-class Indian families.

The first time Siddharth Bhowmik used the word ‘sexy’, he was four years old. He’d heard it in the infamous Bollywood song of the same name, featuring Karisma Kapoor. “His granny told him it meant ‘someone who looks nice’,” says Siddharth’s mother Radha (56). “Tu kitni sexy hai (You are so sexy),” he said to the neighbour’s daughter the next day, hoping to try out his new word and make a friend. It took a lot of explaining from his parents – to him and the neighbour – to finally put the matter to rest.

Siddharth is now 22, and he and his family are part of an apparently massive group of Indians that thinks the TV, films and Internet are bringing immoral and un-Indian influences into the home. About 79 per cent – even in the metros – are apprehensive about the influence of the media, an HT-CNN-IBN poll has found.

And the concerns aren’t always about the sex and violence. “TV has brought about a major lifestyle change,” says Siddharth. “As kids, we would be out playing all day. Now there are XBoxes and PlayStations. Kids don’t want to play outside anymore. They don’t know any better, and they have the most to lose.”

Center for Screen Time Awareness

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Written by maald

August 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Parenting

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