Effects of too much TV viewing are more pronounced on kids who are exposed to television from a young age. Read on to know the harmful effects of television viewing.
In today's world, most of the kids are exposed to television even before they enter their schools. Numerous statistics indicate that 2/3 of the infants and toddlers watch television on an average of 2 hours everyday. If you study the report of the American Academy of Pediatrics, you will find that kids under 2 years of age are recommended not to watch television at all. And kids above 2 years can watch quality programming for less than 2 hours everyday.
Why Television Viewing Must be Controlled?
There are several reasons why television viewing should be monitored and controlled in kids. The most common of them are enlisted below:
Brain Development Gets Hampered - 0 to 2 years of age is the most critical period of brain development. The kid is in a learning phase as he explores and interacts with the people around him and gets acquainted with the objects in his surroundings. So, television or any other form of electronic media is best avoided at this stage as they limit this sense and desire of exploring and interacting. Physical and social development gets hugely hampered by television viewing.
Television Encroaches Into the Active Time - Kids are best let to be active throughout the day. They ought to have a regular routine like reading, painting, music, playing, etc, that is charted out at specific timings throughout the day. If the kid gets engaged in television viewing, all his energy for physical activity like reading, playing, completing his homework and even chatting with friends and family gets lessened. As this gradually develops into a habit, it curbs the social and physical development of the kid too. It eventually becomes harmful for his learning and social behaviour.
Unhealthy Eating Habits - It has been observed and there is a possibility that kids viewing television for over three hours per day are prone to develop unhealthy eating habits. While viewing television, there is a sense of natural desire to munch on something. More often than not, these happen to be junk food items like chips or sipping on colas. These are but pure calorie enhancers with zero nutritional elements. The kid ends up developing very bad eating habits.Obesity is a natural effect of eating too much of junk food and sedentary lifestyle. And added to it is the fact that physical activity is reduced and often altogether absent from the routine. As the entire waking hours is spent in television viewing, the kid does not have any time or inclination for sports and other outdoor activities.
Change in Behaviour - Change in behaviour is also noted. Kids who are addicted to television viewing are found to be more aggressive. For instance they refuse to have their meals if the television is not put on. They are inattentive at the home and in school as they show signs that they can not follow instructions properly. Their concentration gets affected. As a result their grades suffer. Some kids also show withdrawal and behavioural symptoms. Regular viewing of abusive or non-child friendly content leads the kids into believing that the world is a scary place and violence is the norm of normal life. The result of such cases can be highly detrimental.
Advantages of Watching TV
After the age of two, television can be a good educator too. But parents must select programs that help educate the kid and help in the development of their hobbies and learning interests. For example, at the onset, for a preschooler, alphabets can be learnt by the kid from the public television. Similarly, the wildlife and the nature shows can help in the education of the grade schoolers.
At a later stage, the current events and the evening news can be made a family TV viewing ritual. This is a great way for family bonding, sharing views on important current affairs and of course staying abreast of all that is happening around. This is an interesting and effective way of boosting the general knowledge in the kid.
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Television is one of the most common electrical appliance in our homes and as such almost all individuals are exposed to it at some time or other.
With regards to children, studies have shown ...
I think children should not be allowed to watch too much of television. Viewing informative programs once in a while is OK but not watching for a long period of time. They can become television addict...
I completely agree with you Neha. There should be a limit set up for watching television. As they say that parents are role models so parents should lead their kids towards other sources of informatio...