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The End Of Make Believe Essay

1510 words - 6 pages

In a culture saturated in high tech toys that explode with dynamite sounds and whirling lights, children spend countless hours watching television and playing video games and less time engaging in creative and imaginative play. In Claudia Kalb’s article “The End of Make Believe,” she introduces the Knott family from Cleveland, Ohio. Kris Knott and her husband, parents of three active children, are striving to get back to the basics of play by increasing family time and decreasing their children’s television and video game usage. During the summer months, it would not be uncommon to find the entire family outside enjoying a pleasant evening together. Mrs. Knott states that “entertainment is not play” and children need carefree, less structured time to use their imaginations (Kalb, par.1). While the Knott’s children have plenty of organized activities such as after school sports, their parents recognize the importance of using imagination and creativity as a source of play (Kalb, par.1). In the same manner, parents must limit children’s time engaging in technology by creating quality family time and encouraging more creative and imaginative play for intellectual, emotional, and social skills to develop.
In addition to television, today’s children are inundated with a wide variety of technological choices such as video games, Internet games, and other interactive activities. Despite these advanced technologies, television continues to play a large role in today’s society and while it began as an element to unite the family, it appears to be dividing the family apart now (Winn 437). While television provides us with hours of entertainment, stirs emotions deep inside, and is a tool for gathering information, most experts agree that the big issue is the quantity of television children are viewing (Netherwood, par.3). Watching hours of television in the early years means that kids are not “getting on with the important business of being kids.” (Netherwood, par.3) As early as the 1960s and 1970s, research shows that television contributed to the decline of playtime among children (Winn 77). Some studies took place in communes, which had no televisions, and showed children spending quality time in types of play that has almost disappeared from our society (Winn 77). While many parents see no reason to limit television, others are starting to see the benefits. Marie Winn confirms in her article, “The End of Play,” that parents are finding that consistent contact with television is hindering children’s imaginations and the way they use their creativity in play (Winn 76). One mother reflects: “I wish we had cut down on the TV years ago, and maybe the kids would have learned how to play” (Winn 77). Parents must take immediate action by limiting the time their children spend watching television and encouraging more free play and family activities to ensure children’s creative and imaginative skills properly develop.
As parents begin to limit...

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