Is TV raising your kids? A father’s painful lesson

When David Omwoyo came back from church and was told that his two-and-a-half-year-old son was found on the staircase kissing a two-year-old girl

When David Omwoyo came back from church and was told that his two-and-a-half-year-old son was found on the staircase kissing a two-year-old girl, his response was: “Thank God he is not gay.”

But that didn’t take away his embarrassment. “I thought about the whole episode and realised it had to do with the negative effects of the media on our children,” Omwoyo, the chief executive of Media Council of Kenya, told a family life symposium recently in Nairobi.

From that day, he started regulating what his children watch on TV: “At times, they don’t like it but I have to do it.”

The father of three said sometimes it is ideal for parents to switch off the television for normal family sharing.

“These communication gadgets have completely taken over our lives. They have made us lose inter-personal relationships, which shouldn’t be the case,” he said.

Speaking on media consumption and its effects on the family, Omwoyo said parents must get concerned when their children are usually so glued to TV that they don’t even notice when parents walk in.

“That is a strong message to you that media has taken over your family and you must act,” he said.

He told parents to stop blaming the Media Council of Kenya and the State on TV programmes: “We have about 69 local channels and about 300 international channels in our sitting rooms. The onus is on you to regulate what is being watched in your house and not pass the buck.”

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