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Why your kids should watch more TV

Jacinta Nandi explores why delegating your responsibilities to the humble television may not be such a bad thing after all.

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Well-meaning perfectionists don’t realise that there are advantages to breeding a mini-couch potato

One of my German friends is a Perfect Prenzl’Berg Parent whose top hobby is judging everyone else for not living up to his impossibly high standards.

“You know my brother?” he said once. “When his daughter wakes up on a Saturday morning – she’s an early riser, she wakes up at 6am – you know what he does? He puts her in front of the television! And gets back into bed! Whatdaya think of that?”

I could tell by the look on his face that I was meant to say something disapprovingly judgmental. Instead I murmured noncommittally and asked him what he thought.

“Well, I think he shouldn’t have bothered having children in the first place!”

But here’s what my friend didn’t realise: square-eyed kids who’ve been raised on a diet of TV and DVDs are able to…

Behave themselves at the Berlinale

Don’t get me wrong, the Generation section of the Berlinale is fun for everyone, even kids whose parents can bear to wrench themselves out of bed before 11am on a Saturday morning. It’s easy enough to take your kid along: just make sure you get tickets beforehand. You can even take them to foreign films – they have a special translator there, explaining what’s going on for kids who can’t read subtitles yet.

Really enjoy the Museum for Film and Television at Potsdamer Platz

Okay, maybe somebody needs to explain the concept of customer service to the staff here. But this is a museum that will keep you and your kids genuinely interested for a good few hours. Check out the TV section: you could probably leave them there and come back and get them later… if you wanted.

Keep quiet at the theatre

Like, for example, Theater an der Parkaue (Parkaue 29, Lichtenberg). The show we saw was Bei der Feuerwehr wird der Kaffee kalt (photo) – in other words, at the fire station the coffee gets cold – and at the theatre, it’s the middle-class kids who get naughty, squirming around in their seats and whispering away, unlike those kids who are used to spending their Saturday mornings in front of the TV and can actually concentrate on something. Brilliant