by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action
A recent study by Nielson says that African Americans watch 40 percent more television than the national average. Black people spend an average of 7 hours, 12 minutes each day in front of the TV, while the national average is 5 hours, 11 minutes. Asians watch the least television, averaging 3 hours, 14 minutes per day.
I am on my way to a meeting, so I’ll give very quick thoughts on this study:
1) It’s probably no coincidence that Asians also have the highest test scores in school, while we have the lowest. Perhaps we can learn something from our friends across the sea.
2) While we might criticize the “Tiger Mom,” (Amy Chua) for pushing her kids toward excellence, I am willing to bet that the Tiger Mom’s kids weren’t spending all their time planted in front of a TV or video game. While I don’t agree with all of her tactics, I do advocate for having a loving influence on your child’s daily activities. It’s not natural to sit around watching BET for 12 hours a day, so don’t let your child do it.
3) My general thinking is that all of us (not just our kids) can learn something from this study about our own behavior. There is value in being productive on a daily basis. So, whether you’re sitting around in the club every Friday night or spending all your time on twitter/facebook/text messaging all day, you’re probably missing out on the chance to live a productive and meaningful life.
Our people will only make progress when we elevate our way of thinking. Let’s push ourselves and our children to do better.