Balance is the key.I remember being very concerned when my youngest
son, at age 4-5, became entralled with his older brother's computer games
(6yr age difference). He would stand by watching his brothers play.
Occasionally he would try to play the game when his brothers weren't
around. He would ask me how to spell certain words so he could type in the
"commands" to direct the characters in the game. He became a very good,
avid, and early reader. His kindergarten class had an assignment to bring in
recyclables in order to build something using them. At back-to-school night all
the projects were on display. I was eagerly looking down the row of
conventional recyclable houses, cars etc looking for my son's project. I
was horrified and embarrased when, finding my son's project was labeled
"vespane gas." I looked quizzically at the teacher for an explanation.
She just shrugged her shoulders, as clueless as i was to what my son had
constructed. Upon returning home i asked his older brothers if they had heard
of "vespane gas." Ah yes, it was from a computer game. He's
always earned straight A's.
It's not all 'bad' out there, as Danny noted, nor is it
necessarily a 'battle'.
Say what you will about the ills of children and TV--all I know is that, despite
my and my husband's efforts to verbally communicate, plus all the
storybooks read daily to my 3-year-old daughter, she would not talk, nor make
any attempt to form or repeat words. Communication for her consisted of grunts
and various pitches of shrieks and whistles.Then she discovered, to
my then horror, at a cousin's house, Go, Diego, Go! and Dora the Explorer.
Now she talks constantly and her vocabulary has exploded (mostly with
animal-related words and a few Spanish phrases).Despite my vow years
ago never to let Dora into my home, I've since had to recant and tip my hat
to Baby Jaguar and Map.