How are Children Affected by Watching TV?

Are preschool children watching too much TV?

Recently we’ve seen a lot of news reports about the effects of television watching on children. Kids watching too much TV being overweight. The bad example violent television gives to young children etc.

Kids watching TV has been linked to obesity, adhd, autism and bad behaviour.

Rather than focusing on the cons and pros of children watching television, this article, from the Department of Education, takes a balanced view on the advantage and the disadvantages of watching TV.

More importantly, it provides expert opinion on TV watching for kids and supplies useful guidelines on setting family rules for watching television.

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“Taking Charge of TV”

Many children enjoy TV, and they can learn from it. Keep in mind, though,
that young children often imitate what they see, good or bad.

It’s up to you to decide how much TV and what kinds of shows your child should watch.

Think about your child’s age and choose the types of things that you want him to see, learn, and imitate.

Look for TV shows that :

  • teach your child something,
  • hold his interest,
  • encourage him to listen and question,
  • help him learn more words,
  • make him feel good about himself, and
  • introduce him to new ideas and things.

“Sesame Street,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Between the Lions,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Barney & Friends,” “Zoom,” and “Zoboomafoo,” are some shows that you may want to consider.

Many other good children’s programs are available on public television stations and on cable channels such as the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

Limit the time that you let your child watch TV. Too much television cuts into important activities in a child’s life, such as reading, playing with friends, and talking with family members.
Watch TV with your child when you can. Talk with him about what you see. Answer his questions.Try to point out the things in TV programs that are like your child’s everyday life.

When you can’t watch TV with your child, spot check to see what he is watching. Ask questions after the show ends. See what excites him and what troubles him. Find out what he has learned and remembered.

Go to the library and find books that explore the themes of the TV shows that your child watches. Or help your child to use his drawings or pictures cut from magazines to make a book based on a TV show.

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We think this is all great advice on children’s TV watching. How much television should children be watching? What should kids watch on TV? Its for parents to decide.

And if they’re not watching TV, what can kids do? Well you’ll find lots of ideas here. Why not take a look at Activities and Games for Kids to Play Now.