Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TV and Young Children

Apparently, TV is just about the kiss of death for young children. Kids who, at age 2, watched more television than their peers were more likely to be bullied by their classmates, have lower math scores, overeat, and become overweight. Obviously, the weight issues can be blamed the sedentary nature of watching television (children subjected to an above average amount of television at a young age are also less likely to exercise regularly in the years to come). The decrease in math scores are probably a result of television's tendency to drastically cut children's attention spans. Finally, when kids are at home watching TV, they are throwing away valuable time they could spend building relationships and learning valuable social skills, which explains the bullying - perhaps the most disturbing link with TV we've seen considering the frequency of school shootings in the past few years.
Obviously, the risks outweigh the rewards of television for young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends absolutely no television exposure in the first two years of a child's life, and less than two hours from there on out. However, I've heard many parents voice the appeal of turning on the television when they need to get something done. After all, parents cannot be watching their little mongrels 24/7, and considering the way rowdy kids suddenly, magically fall into a peaceful trance when you stick them in front of the TV, it's a option that might be hard to resist. Especially, that is, for busy parents who haven't done the dishes, finished that report for their business, or called their ailing Aunt Sally.
A babysitter might help, but not every family can afford child care. So what are some other ideas? Set out crayons and paper for the child and let them exercise their creativity. Invest in a couple safe, lead-free educational toys or board games. Take play date turns with another parent.
What I'm trying to say is that there are solutions to this conflict. It is important to attempt the perfect balance between overworking yourself and doing your children an injustice.
What's your take on TV for kids? Are you understanding of its allure for parents, or totally against it? Any other ideas on how we can solve this problem?

- Meredith

11 comments:

  1. I don't think it's understandable, I think it's just lazy on parents' part. I'm a parent myself, and I don't find it difficult to get my kids occupied with something that's not tv. People try to be understanding to parents, but there's no need. It's a hard job, yes, but this we know (or at least should!) going into it!!!

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  2. nice article, very well written!!!
    my favorite blog on earth, no contest!!

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  3. I completely agree with your solutions. it makes total sense. i think that parents should find alternatives to putting their children in front of the tv. great article. great insight.

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  4. Thank you for posting, Alit. I appreciate your time in addressing such important issues.

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  5. turn off the tv and read a book!

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  6. lilwayneluvr586May 5, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    i dont see y its so bad fr kids, wen it comesdown to it its jus tv, i dont believe this study

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  7. Hmm, this article made me think, very impressive Alit!

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  8. I don't understand how a few extra hours of TV can cause all those consequences. That's a bit excessive.

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  9. Agreed, I do wonder if some of those statements are credible, all these studies are alwys finding "links" and I think it's exaggerated sometimes

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  10. No, there are serious consequences to TV and it's not to be waved off for the sake of ours kids

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  11. who cares about kids?

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