Monday, February 23, 2009

Turn Off TV...Start Reading

Today I want to spotlight a book that has recently been made into a film for television. Gifted Hands is the true story about Dr. Ben Carson, written by Cecil Murphey. There are many positive things I could say about this story, but I want to focus on one critical aspect.

Young Ben struggled in school. He thought he was dumb, so did everyone around him, except his mother. She realized that he needed glasses, but she didn’t stop there. Next, Ben and his older brother were restricted to two hours of TV. Not two hours a day, but two hours a week!

She sent them to the library to check out books. Their mother required them to write a report after finishing each book. It wasn’t long before Ben began doing much better in math and reading. His grades went way up and he won the spelling contest in his class.

In the end, Dr Carson has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for nearly twenty-five years.

I would recommend that you read the book, and see the film if possible. It has been running on TNT.

My point? There may be several reasons why children are reluctant to read. But the distractions of television, computers, video games, cell phones and other technology are getting in the way of reading time. Parents often forget the power they have to positively influence their children.

You might begin today by cutting back on the technology in your children’s lives, and encouraging reading. Expect a strong, negative response, but stick to your guns. Your children will be the ultimate winners if you do. Just ask Dr. Carson.

Max Elliot Anderson
Books for Boys


Danielle said...

Amen! I see my students at the deaf school spend more time on their Sidekicks and Blackberry phones texting and IM-ing than they do reading or writing, or even in face-to-face conversation... and it shows.

When I was growing up, my mother limited us to 1 hour of TV a day during the school year, and almost none during the summer. We were to either read or play outside. Consequently, all of us kids are avid readers, poets, and in healthy physical condition. We also have pretty good conflict management skills, as my sister and I were the only kids on the farm, and we had to play with each other.

I wish more parents tried limiting technology like you suggest. Most of it is junk, and it's filling brains with the wrong stuff.

ENG said...

So true! My kids sometimes complain that we are the "only family" that doesn't have things like Nintendo DSs, Wii or even cable TV. We do have loads of books though (which we spend time reading aloud even to the 10 year old) and also take time to do things like shoot hoops and go for walks with them. Apart from reading, both kids also love things like painting, drama, dancing etc etc.