Television has been as much a fabric of society as transportation — and it isn’t slowing down just because social media is a factor.
According to a Nielsen report, children ages 2 to 5 watched tv for more than 32 hours per week, kids 6 to 8 spent 28 hours (which the amount is almost doubled when the kids are out of school), and kids 9-14 spend over 20% of their waking hours watching television.
This is important to know because it will help in understanding where your child’s biggest influences are coming from. Where your child spends the most time is more than likely where your child will gain their knowledge, morals, and even their attitude toward others…be that attitude good or bad.
Basically, as your child dedicates hours to watching their favorite show, they are slowly being programmed with information that you may or may not agree with. This is a big problem and outlines the foundation of why your child should possibly avoid television, altogether.
Television programs tend to have hidden messages that aren’t so positive
If you want your child to have a well-rounded understanding of themselves and the world around them, then you might want to reconsider how much television you allow them to watch. Programs have hidden messages that have the power to convey messages to your child, and this can be proven.
Simply go online and google ‘hidden messages in Disney cartoons’ and you will see that there are a plethora of images and messages being thrown at your children without your knowledge. For this, you might want to take a closer look at the programs that you allow your children to meditate on for hours at a time.
What you take in is what you give out
Have you ever heard your child repeat something that made you blink twice? Then you start to wonder exactly where your child heard such nonsense…not realizing that they were only repeating what they heard on one of their favorite shows.
A recent study completed by researchers at the University of Michigan revealed that television often emits submissive messages that have the power to conflict the lessons being taught at home. Some commercials, for example, show risky behavior that can actually affect a child’s actions. This is a major problem when messages that are being conveyed through television conflict with the moral teachings of a child’s family or religious beliefs.
Television has been proven to affect brain development
The American Academy of Pediatrics cited concerns that television viewing has an impact on the brain development of a child. “By watching more television, rather than reading or social interaction, a child is less likely to have visionary insight, a vast vocabulary, or the social skills necessary to interact within society,” according to one researcher who contributed to the study of How Television Interrupts Effective Child Development at AAP.
According to the concerns of the AAP, children can’t learn how to deal with social interaction if they aren’t in the position to interact with others. This is how they learn, which is not possible if they are immersed in television programming. Additionally, studies continue to prove that children who invest their time into watching television instead of reading are at risk of limiting their applicable knowledge that can someday contribute to their overall intelligence and vocabulary.
It’s no secret that many parents use the television to babysit their children. This lack of time that a parent invests into their child’s development will eventually come back to haunt them if they allow their children to continue packing on the programming hours. Taking the time to encourage your child to read can add to their imagination in ways a television just can’t. Allow your kids to use their own creative thoughts, rather than watching programs that continue to tell them how to think. It’s truly the only way to ensure your child will grow to be healthy, happy, and self-assured.