Friday, October 29, 2010

Is TV Bad For Your Child?

The issue of kids watching television has been a hot debate in recent years. Most experts agree that while TV isn’t inherently bad, it should be watched only in small doses. The AAP changed their policy a few years ago to recommend that children under the age of 2 watch no TV at all, and children over that age watch only small amounts, no more than an hour a day.
Still, for better or for worse television is a part of daily life in most homes. Most children do watch some television during the day, and there are benefits to be gained from watching the right programs. Experts agree that educational television is better than mindless entertainment. “If programs are age appropriate, and send children messages that you would want your children to have, then the watching can be entertaining and instructional”, says educational, health, and clinical psychologist Dr. Nancy Mramor.
On the other hand, studies have shown numerous unwanted effects of watching television. It has been linked with poor imaginative skills and can slow language development due to the use of visuals instead of words. “Even the better shows rely on visuals at the expense of talk” says author Jane Healy, PH.D. Children also learn to expect much more entertainment out of anything educational, and find it hard to adapt to school where they are expected to pay attention without the benefit of colorful cartoon characters and music. Their attention spans are shortened as a result.
While some studies show a link between watching television programming like Sesame Street and better academic performance later in life, these studies concerned children who watched the venerable children’s program in the 1980’s, when children watched far less television in general. Today’s children watch on average of 2-3 hours of TV a day – and it isn’t all Sesame Street.
Experts generally recommend the following guidelines for television time:

  • Keep television watching to an hour at most each day
  • Select and monitor the programs your child watches and be sure you know the content
  • Choose educational programming
  • Select channels that do not advertise to children, such as PBS
The bottom line when it comes to television is that it can be bad for your children if they are spending too much time watching it at the expense of time spent reading books, engaging in physical activities or spending time as a family. But as long as your children only watch small amounts of age-appropriate, educational programming, it’s unlikely there will be any long-term problems as a result.
Retrieved from:


This comment has been removed by the author.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More