Influence of TV Programs on Children

And Why You Need To Turn Off the Idiot Box

Children often tend to learn a lot about the world, gender stereotypes, and superstitions from televisions, books, songs, and movies. This is why it is important for parents to be careful and exercise caution about the television programs that kids get to watch. Even a harmless looking child entertainment program might have high doses of violence packed in it, which is not suitable to the audience.

And as kids it is hard to avoid television and most parents also see it as the best way to keep their child busy, so kids get hooked to the idiot box, early in life. Many parents also introduce kids early to video-based learning assuming it makes the child smart. But have you ever wondered how TV really affect children? Are you guilty of letting your child stay glued to the television or other subscription videos? How true is it that television watching is good for the child?

The bad news is, a majority of child development experts believe that TV/video-driven culture has adverse effects on kids and might be a contributing factor to dull kids. Here are a few ways in which TV addiction is harming your child.

No activity-based learning

There’s nothing valuable that the television could offer to kids less than 2-years-old. In fact, it hinders in the developmental process as it takes away the time that could be spent in activity-based learning. Toddlers learn through play and indulging in activities is the key to overall development in this age. When you let your child watch television, you’re taking away all the time she could spend playing, learning, and growing from her. So, make sure she gets some real interaction – with people and things and learn, rather than letting her stay glued to the screen and assume that she’d learn from what she gets to see on a video screen. Your child is more likely to learn how a boat works if he makes one, rather than watching Rob make one on M.A.D.

No skill development

Kids need to develop various important skills like language, creativity, fine and gross motor skills, and social skills, which can happen only through play, exploration, and conversation with real-life situations, and television takes away all this. Skill development occurs through practice, and there’s no way she might pick skills, even like the language by just passively listening to what the people behind the screen have to say.

Reduced attention

Kids introduced to television and used to staying glued to the screen, experience difficulty in paying attention to classes. This is because their brain is used to fast-moving visuals and the lessons explained by the teacher, would not make much sense to her. They would have a reduced attention span as compared to kids who are not exposed to excessive television. Kids who spend more time with the television rather than in interacting with the family tend to have great difficulty adjusting from being visual learners to aural learners.

Inability to think analytically

Excessive TV time tends to numb the child’s brain and makes it difficult for the child to use it for various challenging activities like exercising initiative, thinking analytically, using her imagination, being intellectually challenged, etc., all of which are key developmental milestones.

Negative behaviour

Television introduces kids to various vices in the society, that they might not know off otherwise. Many television programs tend to glorify negative habits like smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc., which leave a long lasting impact on the child’s brain, which is easy to mold and shape as pleased. So, it is important to make sure that kids are not exposed to content that might lead them in the wrong direction.

So, sit down and think about all that your child could be doing if she’s not glued to the television screen. Anything from reading a book, play outdoors, build something with the help of an activity box, explore new things, etc., rather than stay still all day and do nothing. It’s time to turn off the TV and get your child to do something productive.