The Effects of Too Much Television On Children
There is a lot of controversy when it comes to television and your child. How much is too much when it comes to the amount of time your child watches. It is said that on average that over a third of toddlers watch the TV for over two hours per day, children under six also watch the same amount and the age range of eight to eighteen watch over four hours of TV and two hours of computer games per day. These results found in surveys go against the AAP (The American Academy of Paediatrics) advice which says that children under two shouldnít watch TV at all and for over two year olds a maximum of two hours is recommended. The reason for this is down to the development of the brain within the first two years of a childís life. They believe that the TV diminishes the natural development of the childís brain as they are being stopped from playing and interacting with other people i.e. their parents, which encourages them to socially develop and learn physical health.
As a child develops and gets older the TV interferes with them being outdoors and being active physically. Also homework and social development suffers. Not all TV is bad though the AAP does say that in moderation TV can be a good thing. Before starting school if children are exposed to educational learning TV they often start school at an advantage to other children who did not. Itís not an easy call and often parents feel confused as they are being told different advice constantly making them feel that they donít know which way to turn.
TV in excess is blamed for a nation of obese children as they are not experiencing enough physical activity. The violence they see when watching some films or programs de-sensitizes them so that they believe that level of violence is acceptable, for others it makes them have a unhealthy fear of the outside world and can cause agoraphobia. The level of violence that children can see on TV can cause your children to become a bully in life as violence is often shown as being fun and hip and shows you the way to get your own way. It can cause nightmares in younger children as they are unable to know the difference between real life and the fantasy of TV.
Another concern is that within the TV programming many adult undertones are on show to a child who may not understand but will think that it is acceptable. Programs that show sexual behaviour, smoking, drinking and drugs are often shown to underage children and it influences them later on in life. Most children who are subjected to these things often try them at an age that is unacceptable and sometimes illegal before they have the adult mind to be able to understand the consequences of their choices.
The health concern that is gripping all nations is that of obesity in not just adults but children as well. When a person is bored or inactive they tend to nibble and eat, also commercials that are between the programs often show children eating high fat and high sugar goodies that the children will then crave. Eating whilst watching TV causes anyone child or adult to eat more.