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05 October 2007

HOW DOES TV AFFECT MY CHILD?

Today's children are adept at handling the remote. On an average a school going child spends between three and four hours a day before the idiot box. On holidays and weekends, it is much more.
Have a part to play in this? Most parents allow the children to watch cartoons or movies, just so they can be free, or will be at work. Channel surfing is a favourite past-time for some. There is usually a fight for the remote among siblings.

What do the health care professionals have to say about Television viewing?
They vehemently suggest to never allow a child that is below two years to see tv.
And to limit those children above two years to a maximum of two hours per day.
The first two years is a critical time for brain development, hence no screen -time be allowed.They have to develop their skills by exploring, learning , talking and playing with parents and others.

Children going to school, can watch channels such as Discovery and National Geographic which are very educational outside of the school textbooks. Imagination runs wild and they learn so much more. Entertaining shows, such as magic show, or a few cartoons could be viewed. Ultimately , parental discretion is advised. No doubt, television can be a source of entertainment and education.

Too much television has its disadvantages.
  • Reclining on the couch for hours on end, gives a bad posture especially for a growing child.
  • Snacking constantly on popcorn, or a bag of potato chips, leads to obesity at an early age, which gives rise to health complications rather early in life.
  • Those that see violence too often may try to emulate them, putting themselves and others at risk, particularly their siblings.Younger children viewing violent events, can get scared that something bad will befall them such as a kidnapping, accidents, or seeing ghosts in the dark.
  • Poor concentration , limited critical thinking skills, are also associated with this excessive viewing which will definitely affect their school grades.
  • Turning up the volume while viewing affects the hearing, while watching a program too close to the screen, affects the vision.
  • Bad habits, such as smoking, drinking are usually picked up a lot faster from the telly, because a favorite character or hero is to be emulated. Bad words are also picked up in due course and used on the sly, and later on more openly.
  • Advertisements are usually meant to entice children to buy food products or getting them into coercing parents to buy things.

Recommended reading, TELEVISION AND YOUR CHILD


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