How TV Affects your Children?
By Andrew Loh
Watching TV seems to be a favorite pastime for most children. In fact,
they are infatuated with TV and its captivating programs. Most
children sit in front of the TV even before they go to school. Children
who fall in the age group of 3 and 5 years watch on an average of 3 to 5
hours of television every day. In addition, they will end watching more than
2000 hours of TV by the time they turn 10 years.
When parents talk about the possible ill-effects of television and video
programs, they usually focus on the violence and sex part of it; in fact,
most of their conversations center around on the content of the program.
Issues like sex, violence, bad language and inappropriate content are
all real issues that concern our families today. However, are parents
missing something here?
Of late, experts are discussing the possible ill effects of
watching too much TV. How does watching too much TV affect your
children? Does excessive TV watching affect your children's mental growth?
Does it also influence your children's development of social, cognitive,
creative and intellectual skills?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under
the age of 2 years should not be allowed to watch TV, while children
older than 2 years should preferably watch less than 2 hours of
quality TV programs. The invisible effects of watching excessive TV are
real issues of concerns for parents, as they may influence your children's
emotional, social and mental development in an adverse way. It is a
universal fact that most children spend more time by watching TV
than any other type of activity like writing, reading or socializing. In
fact, this also occurs during the critical period of children's early
mental and cognitive development. In many homes, TV is already becoming an
impediment or obstacle to curtail children's normal intellectual development.
The first two years of a child is extremely important for proper brain
development. TV shows are big distractions to normal brain development.
In fact, TV and other electronic medium like video and computer games
could affect the manner in which children explore, socialize, play and
interact with parents and other children. For a child to grow and
develop brain in a normal manner, he or she will need to work hard to encourage
self-learning and brain training. With growing age, excessive TV screen
time could hamper normal activities like reading, writing, and homework,
playing and socializing.
In some way, TV could be a very good thing. It could even be a great
educator and entertainer. Moderate TV viewing could help children learn
and master many things. However, excessive watching could be dangerous
to children, because TV can become acutely intoxicating or obsessive to them.
Child psychologists agree on one common issue - Despite its numerous
advantages, excessive TV viewing could be very detrimental. Some of
these bad effects are as follow:
Children, who regularly watch TV for more than 5
hours a day, may develop obesity and over-weight problems.
Children, who watch too much violent TV programs, may display aggressive
behavior, as they grow older. Alternately, they may even feel
frightened that the world around them is fearful and scary. They
will also think that something bad may happen to them.
Inappropriate TV shows will depict and exhibit instances of bad language, smoking and drinking.
They could also display gender differences and racial discrimination.
Most of the TV shows are fictitious and provide a skewed view of the
world around us. Children watch such shows may develop a false feeling
about the world.
Excessive TV viewing could develop decreased attention spans and
If children accidentally watch adult programs, they could be easily
distracted and become enamored with nudist and vulgar behavior.
Young children are easily distracted by advertisements and
commercials aired on TV shows. This could make them ultra-materialistic.
TV is a double-edged sword! It can cut your children both ways. Used
optimally and in a proper manner, TV could be a great tool to enhance
learning abilities in your children. It could even speed up learning process.
However, undisciplined and improper TV viewing may be potentially
disastrous to your children.
Children experts are divided, when it comes to finding solutions for the
problems. The most basic question that many parents ask is very simple - how
much is too much? Some experts believe that watching educational
programs on TV could be very beneficial to your children. On the
contrary, others believe that TV watching should be discouraged as far
as possible. However, you may need to persuade your children to
understand the fact that the TV is there for occasional entertainment and
not for constant viewing. Continue to read
Teaching appropriate TV Habits to your children - Useful Techniques and Suggestions.