Television has its good side. It can entertain and educate, opening new worlds for your child as they learn about different cultures and ideas. Positive role models can influence young viewers to make good lifestyle choices. However, there are many negative aspects to television viewing, effecting your children’s health, well-being, and behaviour in undesirable ways. Many parents ask the question, “Is television really necessary for my children?”
Social interaction is critical to a young child’s healthy development. Time spent watching TV replaces time spent interacting with caregivers and other children. Spending time watching TV can take time away from playing outside with friends, eating dinner together as a family, or reading. TV time also takes away from participating in sports, music, art or other activities that require practice for one to become skillful.
The negative impacts of watching too much TV
Your child sees tens of thousands of TV commercials each year, many for unhealthy snack foods and drinks.
Reading requires much more thinking than television, and therefore fosters your child’s healthy brain development. Children from families that have the TV on a great deal of the time spend less time reading and being read to. They are also less likely to be able to read.
TV glamorizes violence. Violence goes unpunished, is funny, and has little if any consequences.
How to reduce the negative impact of certain TV shows
There are benefits to watching quality television programming. To make sure your children are learning and receiving positive age appropriate messages, take the following steps: