Television Viewing and Young Children

American children view an average of four to six hours of television daily (which may not even include time spent playing video games). Researchers can now document the effects of extensive television exposure through studies of the human brain.  This Research indicates that TV viewing and Video Gaming are  linked to  a range of negative behaviors: Violence, aggression, obesity, poor academic performance, stubbornness, limited communication skills, and behavior that is not age appropriate.

Each time a child is watching  television or playing video games, time for other activities that are imperative for a child’s natural development are severely limited. Childhood is a period of growth and development; when kids need to play both alone and with peers. Playing is a child’s work! Children also need to talk! Talking with adults as well as other children develops imperative oral language skills.

The amount of violence on television and in video games is increasing and experts agree that this violence is harmful to young children. Children who see violence on TV or in games can become frightened, worried, suspicious, withdrawn, or may develop bullying behaviors. Researchers also have found that children who watch violence on television (including cartoons and gaming) are encouraged that bullying and aggressive behavior is acceptable.

Many research studies indicate that excessive television viewing and video gamin has a detrimental effect on learning and school performance. The hours spent viewing television interfere with homework and with natural learning opportunities. If your child is not performing well academically, ask yourself if your child is watching too much TV or playing excessive and/or  violent video games.

The average child sees 20,000 commercials a year. That means 700 million dollars are being spent introducing your child to heavily sugared products. This gives your child a distorted picture of how they ought to eat and causes unhealthy eating habits.

Television is a fabulous invention with numerous educational and entertaining programs. However, when it comes to young children, it must be used wisely. Set limits! Replace that extra time with alternate activities such as sports, games, play, chores, reading conversation, homework,  or hobbies.