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Posted on 25/01/2015 by Anne DaviesUncategorized
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 have concerns around children watching TV in terms of development.
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 skilful.
Children who spend time watching TV (even with parents and
siblings present) spend less time interacting with family members. In addition
to this, excessive TV viewing can lead to poor academic performance, obesity,
behaviour problems and risky behaviour, and problems sleeping.
This is largely due to the fact that children frequently
watch TV instead of doing homework or reading,
which leads to poor academic performance. University of Michigan researchers
found that just being awake and in the room with the TV on for more than 2
hours a day was a risk factor for being overweight at ages 3-4 ½.
It is also a concern for many parents that children see
their favourite characters in violent or inappropriate situations.
Finally, TV can affect other aspects of a child’s life; even
their physical health. Television viewing is associated with altered sleep
patterns and sleep disorders among children and adolescents. TV influences food
and drink choices and TV viewing may promote alcohol use as children see
thousands of TV adverts each year.
There are benefits to watching quality television
programming such as for education purposes, relaxation and fun. To make sure
your children are learning and receiving positive age appropriate messages,
take the following steps:
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