As a parent, you may have wished that your preschooler spend more time playing, climbing, drawing or reading and you have worried that your child has watched too much television. Your concern is valid. Preschoolers learn more by physically interacting with the world around them. Although watching television, especially good content, can help reinforce value learned, the skill taught, but too much time on television have unhealthy side effects.
Positive influences of television
1. Educational Exposure
There are a number of television channels which can expose preschoolers to different places, cultures in the world they may not otherwise encounter in daily life. Educational channels like Discovery, The History Channel and National Geography take the child to different countries in the world and educate them various cultures on different parts of the Earth.
With the right choice of programme, your child can learn about nature, animal, people and their traditions.
In a study "Early Childhood Television Viewing and Adolescent Behavior" which involved 570 children, researchers found that preschoolers who viewed educational programs tended to have higher grades, were less aggressive and valued their studies more when they reach high school, according to a long-term study
TV programmes can be inspiring. Some TV shows can inspire a child to try something new such as a new drawing. Some TV shows can help children develop interest and even inspire further reading on a topic. Documentary about famous scientists and artists can inspire them to do good deads or achieve something large in real life.
Provides valuable family bonding time
Parents can set a time which all family members view the TV shows together. This can encourage interaction and conversation. With you on the side, your preschooler may ask questions about the TV shows or tell you their favorite character in the show. It can become the catalyst for family interaction and TV time can be a good bonding time.
Negative Effects Of Television On Children
TV affects children negatively as well.
1. Curbs physical activity
Children who watch more television are more likely to be overweight. In a research on the effects of television viewing on resting energy expenditure, the researchers noticed that the resting energy expenditure during television viewing was significantly lower. This implies that the children who watch more TV shows are more likely to be overweight.
Lack of proper physical activity and too much screen time can also lead to vision problems.
2. Negative influence on social development
Kids who watch a lot of TV shows do not have time to play or socialize. Less outdoor activity means that the kids will have less chance to interact and socialize with others. This, in turn, can affect their knowledge and understanding of social interactions and behavior.
3. Affects brain development
Some TV programmes may be educational, but too much screen time could affect your child’s brain development.
First, it discourages and replaces reading which needs much more thinking. According to one study led by E.A. Vandewater from the University of Texas, children who watch a lot of television at a young age are less likely to read.
A 2005 study led by F.J. Zimmerman from the University of Washington found overall negative cognitive effects among children who regularly viewed television before age 3.
Watching a lot of TV as a child can affect a child's behavior negatively, especially when the programming contains violence. A study, led by L. Rowell Huesmann from the University of Michigan, found a significant correlation between viewing TV violence and later aggressive behaviors.
Advertisements that a child sees on TV exposes them to a variety of brands and products that they may not need.
Commercials encourage kids to consume unhealthy foods and drinks. It may make children begin to believe that fast food, ice creams, and carbonated drinks are good.
What can parents do?
Parents have to take a stand when it comes to television. If you want to protect your children from the damaging effects of television, here is what you can do.
1. Choose the right TV showsThe first step is to figure out what shows are appropriate for children. You will have to do some research to understand the content and the message that the show sends out to the audience. Do not pick a show just because it is for children. Do make sure the content of the show is appropriate for your child's age.
Furthermore, try to pick a show with a shorter duration.
Last, try to choose channels that have the least advertisement.
2. Limit TV time for kids
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time that preschoolers spend in front of a screen to be no more than 1 hour per day.
3.What else can you do?
Sit together with your children while he watches the television. Try to use screen time as a chance to interact with your child and help them to understand our world better. Don't let your child spend time alone just staring at a screen.
Second, keep devices with screens out of your child's bedroom after bedtime, and never place a TV in your child's bedroom.
Last, try to schedule plenty of indoor or outdoor physical activities into your child's day. Playing is learning for children.