It was different times when we had TV with just DD1 and DD2 and even then our parents needed Remote Control to switch channels. It was not to see what was coming up on the other channel but to avoid awkward moments in family time.
My kids are role playing in the room and suddenly I hear one saying “Swami” (Master) and other one replies “Kiss me”. And they repeat, younger one says “Swami” and elder one replies, “Kiss Me”. It is funny when you are alone or with friends and you know the context they are referring to is a Chewing Gum Ad with the Tag line "Zubaan par rakhe lagaam". But when you are sitting with your Father-in-law and imagine your kids playing this in front of him. He doesn’t know where they have seen this, “Swami” and “Kiss Me” act. What are you supposed to do in that moment, Silence or Explanation? Both are equally awkward, because that is a different generation, who switched channels on us even during “Krishi Darshan”.
It is everywhere now, Cartoons, Ads, Songs or Soap Operas. A princess kisses Chotta Bheem and there are hearts bursting in the air and blushing. You should see the expressions of kids at that moment. I wonder what’s going in their mind that very moment.
There were times when I used to encourage my kids to watch Songs, but since the evolution of Item songs and Sunny Leone, I cannot leave them unattended for a single song.
My daughter learns Bollywood dance and was being taught, Baby Doll in class (don’t even ask me why the teacher chose the song in the first place). Now she comes home and asks me to play that song on You Tube, so that she can watch and learn (Yeah right, watch and learn what). Thank god for mp3 songs where you don’t have to let them watch and they can still practice. So the excuse I make is if you watch this on Youtube, you will get confused between what’s being taught in class and the actual song. It is not so easy to make excuses every time you have to deny them watching something.
I can still understand (or try to understand) the ads like Diapers and Noodles coming in commercial breaks on Kids Channels, kids are their target audience. But what have Kids got to do with Perfume, Condom, Soap and Razor Ads? That’s is unnecessarily pushing the kids mind to go way beyond their age and hamper their natural growth process.
I keep saying “No, this is for Adults”, “No, it is PG-13”, “Sorry, you are not allowed to watch this”. But that makes them more curious and itching to see it. Now I miss Teletubbies and channels like Cbebbies, where there were no Ads and the content was dull and boring.
I wonder if there is any censorship for TV esp for Kid’s Channels. It is not just about obscenity, but also violence and quality. I am not asking the TV to become a babysitter (I have DVD player for that). All I am asking is for the kids to enjoy watching something age appropriate. You can’t become a helicopter parent (I learnt the term recently) or a control freak. I want to prepare them for the life ahead but not so fast, not this way. Or am I already a Control Freak and have nothing better to do?