Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Is TV Really All That Bad for Kids?
We've all heard more than once that watching television comes with more drawbacks than perks. While researchers have searched for and probably found what might be considered evidence to support this, the idea that there could also be considerable benefits has all but been forgotten.
The consensus view is adopted by many families and indeed, it is wise to discourage children from watching the tube excessively, but there are certainly developmental and educational advantages that come from watching television as a young age.
Educational programs and channels such as Discovery, History Channel, Nat Geo, Animal planet may be overlooked when the discussion comes up about the advantages of television in kids. Many parents will rightly pull their kids away after hours of cartoons or when some inappropriate content is shown and encourage them to watch something that provides educational benefit. The educational channels might not always be as thrilling but they certainly present information in a lucrative, informative and above all, in quite an enjoyable manner. It should come as no surprise that recent statistics show that children who regularly watch educational programs and channels scored better on IQ tests than their peers.
The option of locking channels has been around for a while now, and this should be utilised if parents deem it appropriate so that shouldn't be a problem if parents want to block a few particular channels at certain times.
Long hours of TV watching however may be harmful for not only children, but for everyone. As well as being harmful to the body given the low level of activity, it can be harmful for the brain also. It seems that in the case of children, TV has a heightened effect; if managed properly, watching TV can be healthy and contribute greatly to development. If not, it can become addictive and lead to unhealthy habits. The fact is however, studies that speak to the harm that television can cause to children are usually based on the assumption that they are watching upwards of 4-5 hours per day, which may be considered excessive. If TV watching is kept at a reasonable level, likely there are far fewer negative effects.
And what about the effects on children’s eyes? Studies show that where you place your TV plays a big role in how much your eye-sight is affected. Young children and even the ones in their early teens have vulnerable eyes. Wall mounting your TV the right way can actually assist in this.
So avoiding long hours, moderate monitoring of channels being viewed and the tele-to-eye distance make up for sufficient factors to be kept in check in order for healthy watching for kids.
Parents should be weary that often what we hear about the harms of TV watching can be misleading. When moderated, TV and home entertainment can be a great way to strengthen bonds between family members and have fun together.
Image Source: telegraph, data resource