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TV Can be a Good Parent – Summary | Flax Golden Tales

TV Can be a Good Parent – Summary – Four Levels of Interaction | Flax-Golden Tales

TV Can be a Good Parent

TV Can be a Good Parent – Ariel Gore, USA (1970-)

Literal Comprehension

This essay “TV can be good Parent” is written by an American mother Arial Gore. In this essay, she has described the condition when TV becomes a parent of co-parents for kids by making a reaction to the guidelines given by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives new guidelines for parents telling that letting kids under the age of 2 to watch TV is harmful.

Instead of worrying about more important issues such as welfare and poverty; AAP is worried about children watching TV.  The writer Gore defends this idea telling that TV set can be a good parent to a single-parent family where the parent had to go to job leaving their children at home. In a single-parent family when there is no to take care of children, a TV set can be a parent for them. To defend this idea she talks about her own personal life.

In the 1970s, when Gore was a child, there was no TV set in her home. Her mother called the TV set a “Boob Tube”. Her mother did not have to pay so much rent for the room and had friends that all took care of children by helping each other. However, those days were in 1970 and this is 1980. She herself now has become a mother and has to go office leaving her daughter with a TV set. That has become an injustice according to AAP because the research shows that young children need more interaction with their parents and caregivers.

Due to this, the kids should have lost direct interaction with their parents and caregivers but it does not mean that she /he never talks to anyone, Gore says that she would understand if AAP if AAP discouraged children from watching much TV all the day and all night, according to her watching a little TV during a day to give their parent a break is not going to kill or make them dumb. She insists that they should be more worried about having shows like “Jerry Springer” while a young child is in a room with them.

She says that direct interaction with the people is far better than anything. But she is forced to leave her daughter in front of a TV program to go for jobs. Some programs like “BLUES CLUES” make children interactive not passive ones. So there must be programs for the betterment of kids. A survey shows that parents having direct interaction and spending more time with children is better than anything to them. But TV set can be like a good parent or co-parent in special condition when the parent can’t give time to children.

Better care of the children can be given with direct care, interaction etc. But all single parent can’t give much time due to their poor economic condition. Gore also does not feel that the TV set is the greatest thing in the world for little kids for anyone. She says that much more educational programs are needed for kids to end a culture of war and violence. Along with it, she argues that if the government provides the salaries to all housewives, they can spend maximum time with their kids and they can give more time to care and interact etc. Until such management is provided, TV by compulsion becomes parent or co-parent of children.

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This essay is based on the usefulness of TV, especially to poor single mothers. Many mothers are compelled to work outside for sustaining their life and the life of the family. In such condition, there’s nobody to take care of the children and it becomes inevitable for mothers to make their children watch television. Thought the mothers love their children, to feed and to run their house they had to work. In the essay it is expressed that money is playing the crucial role during this moment and it’s not like the time of ancient where each was helping each other to care their children, hence, the TV is being one of the best solutions for making the children busy and parent work for feeding the children and run the life.

In the essay, the writer expresses that poor mothers can get only a few days as off day in a week. And on that day they have lots of work to do and if the children engage themselves watching television. She can accomplish her work very easily. The lower class (poor) mothers see the importance of the television. Similarly, they accept that nude and violent and abusive programs only make the children, not the good programs. Many TV programs like Nick Jr, Sesame Street can develop the cognitive power of the children too.

Critical Thinking

The way, the writer has presented the essay attaching her real life that how the TV can be the best parents for the poor parents is most appreciable. Along with her clarification, I do not think that TV can really do the job of the mother. Mother has the greatest meaning as a living being which the non-living thing TV can’t do. So, can the TV occupy the position of the mother? Does the TV care the children as mothers do? Can the children learn to write looking television programs? Does caring the children only mean passing their time own-self? Why the writer is not expressing her view about the care of the children during their sickness?


After reading this essay of Gore, I come to realize that being a mother and feeding their children is a very much difficult task. And how the mothers are managing their time with the help of different thing like TV. This essay made me remember my past days when there was no TV set in my home. But my family was a joint family and I could be cared for by other family members too. At this moment I have a little daughter and for the sake of managing time, I m compelled to make my children watch the television. So I can manage the time for reading, cooking, feeding etc. this essay really touched me.

2. Summarize the essay “TV Can Be a Good Parent”.

Ans: Ariel Gore’s essay is a defense of TV based on its usefulness, especially to poor single mother. She complains that the AAP doesn’t pay any attention to the poor conditions of single mothers. Instead of worrying about more important issues such as welfare and poverty, they are more worried about children watching television. AAP is saying she is doing her daughter an injustice every time that she lets her watch TV.

But Gore says that being a single parent is not easy because she has to look after the kid and to work at the same time to support herself. A single mother can’t devote her time to home word and job if the children aren’t allowed to watch TV. They may learn many things while watching TV. They can serve as caretaker to poor single mothers. While children watch TV, parents can work freely. While her daughter is sitting in front of the TV set, Ariel is able to have some time for her duties. So in this sense, she says that TV can be a good parent.

3. Gore’s defense of TV is based on its usefulness, especially to poor single mothers. Do you agree with Gore that usefulness is sufficient reason for poor working parents to let their children watch TV four hours a day?

Ans: In the essay “TV Can Be a Good A Parent”, Ariel Gore presents her arguments on the defense of television based on its usefulness, especially to poor single mothers. While her young daughter was sitting in front of the TV, Gore was able to have some time for herself and carry out some essential work. She complains that there is no welfare system for poor American women. The rent for an apartment is very high. So poor mothers like Gore can’t stay just at home and care to their infants. In such condition, TV has been a good parent for many kids.

I don’t agree with Gore that usefulness is sufficient reason to let the children watch TV four hours a day. If they watch TV for a long time a day, they may habituate only for watching TV. Their attention towards study may distract. Parents should search the alternative way to care for the children. Children should be given only to watch information programmes on TV. It is not good to let them watching TV for four hours a day in the name of usefulness.

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