Should children watch television?

Should children watch television?

Should children watch television? If yes what and for how much time they should watch? Parents commonly face these and many such questions as their children grow up.

Today television plays both a negative and positive role in a child’s life. It can be entertaining as well as educational. For Preschoolers watching television can help them learn alphabets and how they sound on public television, for kids in grade school can learn about wildlife on nature shows, and parents can keep up with current events on the evening news. The various travel shows and quiz shows improves a child’s knowledge which is academically beneficial and will retain in their memories as they learnt about it through a pictorial fun representation in an environment that was enjoyed by them. However, the reverse can also be true:  Kids are likely to learn things from TV that parents don’t want them to learn.  TV can affect kids’ health, sleep, weight, grades, behavior and family life in negative ways also.

The American Academy of Pediatrics takes a “better-safe-than-sorry” stance on TV for young children. They say “It may be tempting to put your infant or toddler in front of the television, especially to watch shows created just for children under age two. These early years are crucial in a child’s development. Pediatricians strongly oppose targeted programming, especially when it’s used to market toys, games, dolls, unhealthy food and other products to toddlers. Any positive effect of television on infants and toddlers is still open to question, but the benefits of parent-child interactions are proven. Under age two, talking, singing, reading, listening to music or playing is far more important to a child’s development than any TV show.”

As parents it’s very important to decide how much television your kid should watch and from which age. Research clearly shows both the sides of the coin. One particular study shows that early TV viewing will result later in attention problems, whereas another study found that TV viewing between ages three and five it slightly helped reading scores.

What parents can do:

  • Teach your kids to be media savvy. Watching the right amount of televisions and right shows will draw balance between the positive and negative effects.
  • Watch with your kids, so if the programming turns violent, you can discuss what happened to put it in a context you want your kids to learn.
  • Always monitor what your children are watching. With technology in place a parent can easily set a parental guidance program chart making only those channels available to the children which would be appropriate for their age and personality.
  • Keep in mind the major role Peer Pressure plays here, and come with ground rules of watching television.
  • The internet has a many sites that can guide you with what is right for your child to watch on television for their age group. Here is one such site that might help you:  Managing Television:  Tips for Your Family

Television has both its pros and cons it all depends on us how we consume the information which is communicated through this medium. If you have a successful TV guide for child please go ahead and share with us for the benefit of others.

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