Posts Tagged ‘television’

I Love it When Children Think for Themselves

July 24, 2014

I love it how this 7-year-old doesn’t let his high principles get muddied just because he is a child talking to a persuasive adult:



Click on the link to read 10-Year-Old’s Marriage Advice to His Teacher

Click on the link to read The Science of Parenting

Click on the link to read Why the Call to Fine Parents for Not Reading to Their Children is Utter Stupidity

Click on the link to read Children are Precious!

Click on the link to read Is it Ever OK to Lie to Your Kids?

Click on the link to read 9 Characteristics of a Great Teacher According to Parents


Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

March 23, 2014

game of thrones

Well here is a novel way of getting rowdy students to quieten down:

A maths teacher apparently decided to up the ante by threatening to reveal Game of Thrones spoilers to his misbehaving students.

One day while teaching in a noisy classroom, the educator asked who watched Game of Thrones, to which the majority raised their hands.

‘Well, I’ve read all the books,’ he told them. ‘If there is too much noise, I will write the name of the dead on the board. They are enough to fill the whole year and I can even describe how they die,’ reports

Those troublemakers who took it as an empty threat soon found themselves living to regret it when the teacher proceeded to write the names of those killed off in the third series on the board.

Unsurprisingly, the class got back pretty sharpish to working on long division and the like in silence after that.

Click on the link to read Teacher Called Cops Because Students Planned to Sabotage Class Photograph

Click on the link to read Teachers are Better with a Sense of Humour (Photo)

Click on the link to read Would You Want Your Teacher Chair Replaced by a Yoga Ball?

Click on the link to read Worst Examples of Teacher Discipline

Click on the link to read Why Students Misbehave

The Moment a 9-Year-Old Became a Star (Video)

October 28, 2013



I don’t like talent shows and I find the constant judge and host reaction shots manipulative and distracting, but who can criticise this monumental performance by 9-year-old Amira Willighagen, singing Puccini for the judges of Holland’s Got Talent?


Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

Click on the link to read School Calls Police to Stop A-Grade Student From Studying

Click on the link to read Schools are Failing Gifted Students



Tips to Help Parents Control Their Kids’ TV Habits

September 17, 2013



One of the most original and innovative ideas my mother had came about when she realised that I was spending far too much time watching TV and the problem required a change of policy in form of a proposal. The proposal was that I could watch 3 episodes a week on a school night as long as it the show had educational merit. So instead of watching a chat show or sitcom, I watched documentaries and current affair programs. I  remember watching shows on criminology, science, politics and history – all of which would have been ignored were it not for the rule. To this day, my TV tastes have been radically altered because of that rule.

Of course not all children would respond to such an arrangement. So courtesy of, here are 12 more tips:

1. Get the TV out of the Bedroom!

Having a TV in the bedroom may keep your kids quiet, but you lose control over what and how much they watch. A recent study found that children who had a TV in their bedroom watched more TV and performed worse in school tests.

If your child already has a TV in their bedroom, you may have a job on your hands to get it out. We recommend that you just remove the TV and explain your reasons to your child. Be prepared for protests, but remember that you are acting in the best interests of your child, and that you are the boss!

2. Don’t have the TV on in the Background

If no-one’s watching it, turn the telly off! TV has an amazing effect on us. We instinctively pay attention to moving images, so when a television is on it is difficult to concentrate on other things. Remember, the “off” button is there for a reason.

3. Don’t Allow Unsupervised Access

Do you really know what the kids are watching? Many studies have shown that children can be exposed to violent and sexual imagery that is inappropriate for their age. Keep track of what your kids are watching, and avoid having loads of TV sets around the house.

4. Agree Programmes

Buy a TV guide, and agree in advance which programmes your children will watch. This won’t take long, and will save your children from hours of zombie-like channel surfing. Most Sunday newspapers have a weekly TV guide included. Set rules for acceptable programmes together, and develop a list of programmes to be watched.

5. Agree TV Time

Agree with your children how much time the family will spend watching TV during the week. Remember to be firm during the negotiations. Your kids need to know that you are the boss – much easier with younger children.

If your children are massive telly addicts, you will need to reduce their screen time gradually. The most important thing for telly addicts is to replace TV time with something else, so you might need to think about active hobbies for your kids.

6. Assess the Situation

Keep a TV log for a week, and work out how much time you and your children spend in front of the box. Just write down the number of hours of TV you’ve watched – you may find this surprising.

7. Record Programmes

Record movies and programmes that you like, and watch them at convenient times. This can help to minimise the effect that TV has on your family’s sleeping and eating patterns.

8. Discuss the Plan

Explain to your children the reason why too much TV is a bad idea, and get their opinions. This is crucial, since you want your children to develop good TV habits that they will take with them into adulthood. Don’t be too dictatorial, and explain your actions. Your children will get into the habit of being discerning viewers.

You’re the boss, and you need to take a lead, but you have to bring your children with you. If your children are very young, this will not be a problem – they will just accept your rules as being normal.

9. Encourage Rebellion!

Your kids are going to rebel against something so why not make this rebellion a positive process? Point out to your child or young adult that the TV keeps them passive and under control. Your children probably won’t like the idea of being passive zombies controlled by others.

10. Cut the Cable…

…or get rid of the dish. Why not get rid of your satellite TV and with the money you save, rent the odd movie that you’re really keen on? You’ll be able to watch your movie at a more convenient time, you won’t be bombarded with adverts, and you will probably save money.

11. TV Dinners

Don’t eat in front of the telly! When you are looking at the box, you find it harder to keep track of how full you are. For this reason people tend to overeat when they are watching television.

When children routinely eat meals in front of the TV they are more likely to become overweight. The odd bit of popcorn during a movie is OK, but in general don’t let your family eat meals in front of the TV.

12. Keep Perspective

You don’t have to ditch the TV completely, although believe it or not some people take this option and live perfectly normal lives. TV isn’t all bad…you can see great movies, there are fantastic educational documentaries, and there are great comedy and entertainment shows. Just make sure that you control the TV, and the TV doesn’t control you!


Click on the link to read 10 Steps Parents Can Take if their Child is Being Bullied

Click on the link to read School Holidays are Very Hard for Many Parents (Video)

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Nurturing Independence Among Children

Click on the link to read 4 Tips for Getting Your Kids up in the Morning

Click on the link to read Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Click on the link to read Top Ten Compliments Your Children Need to Hear


Did I Read Right? TV Good for Schoolwork?

June 23, 2013



I can’t see how excessive TV watching could possibly improve a child’s schoolwork. It certainly doesn’t do anything for the quality of my report writing:

Parents have for years rationed the amount of television their children can watch in the belief that too much will scramble their offspring’s brains.

Now a study suggests the opposite is true – that children who are glued to the screen for hours a day can significantly outperform classmates who watch considerably less.

It also found that other family rules imposed by parents hoping to boost their children’s academic prowess, such as insisting on regular bed or meal times, make only a relatively small difference.

While TV has been consistently blamed for diminishing children’s brain power, University of London academics found those who watched three or more hours a day were three months ahead of those who watched less than an hour a day.

The report’s lead author Dr Alice Sullivan, senior academic at the university’s Institute of Education, admitted the results, particularly those regarding television, were ‘contrary to expectations’.

She added that the educational value of children’s television had been ‘underestimated’. ‘It may also help expose some children to a broader vocabulary than they get at home,’ Dr Sullivan said.

Their findings were part of an  analysis that set out to examine claims made by politicians, including David Cameron, and others that parenting skills were more important than social background in determining how well children do at school and in later life.

Ginger Beer Ad is Neither Funny nor Clever

August 2, 2012

I realise that this ad was aiming for controversy, but I can guarantee that kids will be bullied because of it:

An advertising campaign from a New Zealand company telling customers to swap their “ginger children” for ginger beer has been criticised on social media.

A media release from Hakanoa Handmade Ginger Beer yesterday gave “unfortunate” parents with red-haired children the opportunity to exchange them for ginger beer, starting today and running until the end of August.

“Parents with ginger spawn will be able to bring them into The Little Grocer on Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, where they will be able to swap them for a six-pack of ginger beer.”

However, people on the company’s Facebook page said the campaign was offensive.

Ross Ronald said: “Awful – who’s next? Kids with glasses? You’ve totally missed the point and have maybe created the world’s most un-inclusive ad campaign. Humour is best left to those who have some.”

“This is a disgusting but of bullying – towards children – and I hope you have some human rights complaints coming your way,” said William Robertson.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read You Don’t Fight Bullying With More Bullying

Click on the link to read It’s Time to Get New Role Models

Would Good Parents Ever Sign Up for a Reality TV Show?

July 13, 2012

A good parent, like a good teacher, makes mistakes on a regular basis. The difference is, that they reflect on their mistakes and work on strategies for continuous improvement.

I am not convinced that good parents would ever feel comfortable advertising their skills to a prime time television audience.

But there are many out there desperate for their 15 minutes:

Those who believe their parenting skills are worthy of an audience have many chances to be seen in the near future. Apparently reality show producers also think the whole world needs to weigh in on different ways to raise children, based on the sample of casting calls made recently.

The latest, from the people who bring you “Dance Moms” and “American Stuffers,” will be called “Extreme Parenting” (if one of the “multiple” cable networks bidding on the show come through, says producer Jeff Collins).

He was inspired to create the show, he says, after watching the national paroxysms of outrage over the Time magazine cover showing self-described “attachment parent” Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.

“I think it is fascinating when Americans find something to be provocative and upsetting,” Collins explains. “We are a country of extremes. The shows I do peel back the curtain on the choices people make — some of them will outrage other people.”

The Most Effective Anti-Smoking Ad Ever Conceived

June 22, 2012



Pure genius! Getting children to ask smokers for a light is a brilliant way to sell the anti-smoking message:

It has been labelled “heartbreaking” and one of the most effective anti-smoking advertisements ever.

The new public service announcement from Thailand shows two small children approaching adults who are smoking and asking them for a light.

Not one of the adults shown in the ad gives the children what they ask for.

Instead the adults — who have no idea they are being set up — begin giving the children earnest lectures on why smoking is so bad for them.

“If you smoke you die faster,” one man tells a little boy.

“Don’t you want to live and play?”

“When you smoke you suffer from lung cancer, emphysema and strokes,” another says.

The children then reveal their trump card, a brochure they hand the adults which reads: “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?”

The video, produced by the agency Ogilvy Thailand on behalf of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, was uploaded to YouTube a week ago and has since gone viral, attracting more than 350,000 views.

The foundation has reported a 40 percent increase in the number of calls it has received about how to stop smoking.

Adults Need Positive Rolemodels Too

May 2, 2012

Thanks to the explosion of reality television shows we have a vast selection of horrendous parenting examples to choose from. Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and The Real Housewives of New Jersey as well as Jon and Kate Plus 8 showcase styles of parenting that are not to be emulated.

These shows sicken me because they are intended to make deeply flawed parents feel better about their half-hearted approach to parenting by presenting them with examples of worst practice.  It is not responsible for television networks to give parents the impression that as long as they resist spray tanning their toddler they are doing a satisfactory job of raising their kids.

The trials and tribulations of Octomom is a perfect example of gutter television appealing to parents who haven’t yet earned the right to judge. By focussing on the exploits of Octomom, we have denied parents what they should really be seeing on television – examples of good parenting. Adults, like kids, need to see positive rolemodels who can inspire them to make positive change, alter their priorities and help them make good, sensible and selfless life choices.

It may not rate, but it’s got to be better than this:

“Octomom” Nadya Suleman filed for bankruptcy this week, citing $1 million in debts to her landlord, her father, the water department, DirecTV and Whittier Christian School, where several of her 14 children are students.

In 2008, Suleman, 36, famously conceived octuplets through in-vitro fertilization (as she had done with her previous six children) by Dr Michael Kamrava, and became a national obsession. Since the birth, she has cut deals with media outlets and posed in tabloid photo spreads and promoted products and books that somehow never made it to market. In 2009 she turned down a $1 million offer to appear in an adult video for Vivid Entertainment and is currently relying on welfare, food stamps and Social Security disability payments to raise her 14 children, who are all under the age of 10.

Speaking of sound decision-making, in a reversal of her 2009 decision to pass on porn, Suleman told reporters on Monday night’s “Showbiz Tonight” that these days she’ll do just about anything for the benefit of her brood: “You know if the opportunity comes up, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m gonna eat my words,” she said. “Because all that matters is that I can take care of my family.”

Reality television was supposed to allow the viewer to experience the life of another. This can be a very useful device. It can help the average viewer relate to another person by allowing them to experience life in their shoes. Instead, reality television is content in providing us with the very worst society has to offer.

As a parent with a lot to learn, I am sick and tired of being bombarded with ‘polluted parenting’ on the small screen. Where are the shows that explore helpful advice by experienced parents who have overcome adversity and addressed major challenges?

Surely there is a place for a bit of balance in television scheduling?

Both a Parents’ Best Friend and Worst Enemy

April 21, 2012

I witnessed a 10 year-old boy having a major meltdown at the shoe shop last Sunday. He acted in an obnoxious way and completely embarrassed his mother. Kicking out in obvious frustration, he berated his mother for taking him to the shop (even though she took him because he needed new shoes!) He screamed out on a number of occasions, “This is so boring!”

It took a while for the mother t0 react decisively. At first she tried to reassure him, then sweet talk him. Finally she decided to threaten him. Nowadays, when a parent threatens their child there seems to be a standard “go to” consequence – the use of the family game console. The mother said, “That’s it! No more Playstation for the rest of the day!”

And then she paused, if only to reflect on what she had just done and whether she was comfortable with the challenges that come with setting such a punishment.

“What?” came the boy’s reply. “No Playstation? For the whole day? Why?”

“Because of your tantrum. I’m fed up with it!”

“But that’s not fair! I was just bored, that’s all!”

And then, as if the penny dropped, the mother realised what she had done. In a haste to punish her child, it dawned on her that she had in fact punished herself. She realised that her child is tolerable in front of the Playstation and a considerable challenge away from it. So she scrambled for an “out clause.”

“If you behave for the rest of your time here I might reconsider.”

Unfortunately, this is becoming standard practice among parents. As much as they hate watching their children becoming couch potatoes and gaming addicts, as much as they wish that they could get their attention quicker and steer them away from these distractions when it’s time to do homework, they have come to rely on it for peace and quiet. Here this mother had the perfect punishment for her son’s terrible exhibition. Following through would certainly be a “game changer.” It would make the statement that if you want to misbehave like that in public again it may come at a major price.

But no, this parent wasn’t prepared to risk ruining the rest of her Sunday for the sake of this statement. She probably wanted her son to be out of sight and mind for the rest of the day and there was no way that was going to happen with the punishment she nominated.

I am not trying to judge this parent. We have all breathed a sigh of relief as our child has camped in front of television or computer screen at some stage.

I am merely commenting on the stranglehold this technology has over parents, children and families.

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