Most children today are very familiar with things like TVs, tablets and smartphones. Actually the influence of television on children can be part of a positive childhood, as long as it is used wisely. For example, preschoolers get help learning to recognize the alphabet from television shows, school-age children can take advantage of educational applications on smartphones for children, and teenagers can do research on the internet.
But watching too much television can be bad. Here are some facts:
- Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours every day watching television are more at risk of being overweight.
- Children who see acts of violence on TV are more likely to show aggressive behavior, and are afraid that something bad will happen to them.
- Teenagers who often play video games and use applications that contain violence are more likely to be aggressive.
- Characters on TV and video games often describe negative behaviors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
That is why, Mother, it is important for parents to limit children’s time watching TV and make rules to ensure children do not spend too much time in front of TV.
TV Watching Guide For Kids
The following guidelines can help you limit children’s TV watching time:
- Infants and toddlers up to 18 months of age, do not watch television, except watching videos containing family and friends.
- Toddlers aged 18 to 24 months, may watch TV only briefly with parents or caregivers.
- Preschool children, no more than 1 hour every day watching educational programs, with parents or caregivers who can help them understand what they are watching.
- Children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years. Parents need to make consistent limits for TV watching time, including the use of social media and video games. Television must not reduce sleep time and hinder a child’s physical activity.
Violence on Television
The average child witnesses 200,000 acts of violence on television at the age of 18. Many acts of violence are caused by people the child admires. As with video games, the hero manages to win by fighting or killing his enemy.
This can trigger confusion when the child tries to understand the difference between right and wrong. Young children feel frightened by images that are frightening and contain violence. Saying the image isn’t real won’t make them feel better, because they can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. Behavioral problems, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping can be caused by exposure to this kind of violence.
Older children can also be afraid of images of violence. Parents are encouraged to give an explanation to children at this age. It is important to calm and provide honest information to help children overcome fear. But it would be far better not to let children watch programs or play games that make them scared.
Bad Behavior on Television
TV and video games are full of content that contains risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol, taking illegal drugs, and free sex at an early age. Research has shown that teenagers who watch a lot of sexual content on TV are more likely to have sex or participate in sexual activity earlier than friends who don’t watch sexual shows.
Even though cigarette advertisements are prohibited on TV, children can still see many people smoking on TV shows. This makes behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcohol seem acceptable and triggering the problem of violence.
TV and Obesity
Health experts have long linked TV watching with obesity in children. When children stare at the screen, they become inactive and tend to eat snacks. They are also confronted with advertisements that encourage them to consume unhealthy foods.
Research has shown that a decrease in the number of hours of watching TV in children has an effect on reducing weight gain and decreasing body mass index. Changing the time playing video games with outdoor games is the right way to help children maintain a healthy weight.
Product Advertising on Television
Most children under the age of 8 don’t understand that advertising is used to sell products. Children aged 6 years or younger cannot distinguish between TV shows and advertisements, especially if their favorite characters promote a product. Even older children need to be reminded of the purpose of advertising.
It’s almost impossible to avoid the effect of advertising unless you turn off the television. When children ask about the product being advertised, explain that the advertisement is made to make people buy products that they don’t need. And this advertisement makes us think that the product will make us happier.
Teach children to be smart consumers, yes Bun and try to limit children’s exposure to TV commercials by:
- Record television programs without advertising.
- Eliminating TV volume during advertisements to discuss the program being watched.
- Buy or rent a favorite DVD.
But Bun, some experts believe that TV isn’t entirely bad. Some consider watching TV can be beneficial as long as it is not excessive and the programs being watched have been selected:
- Some TV shows can educate, inform, and inspire. Television can be more effective than books or sound recordings in teaching a process to children such as how to plant plants or cook a cake.
- Research shows that children who watch education programs TV and there is no violence in them can be better in reading and math tests than children who do not watch this program.
- Preschoolers who watch information and education programs tend to watch more information and education programs as they get older. They use TV effectively as a complement to school lessons. Conversely, children who watch more entertainment programs will watch fewer information programs as they get bigger.
- Preschoolers who watch educational programs tend to be ranked higher, are less aggressive, and value learning more when they reach secondary school, according to a study.
- According to other studies, children get a calming and pain relief effect by watching cartoons. So maybe a little entertainment from TV can be a source of healing for children who are stressed or experiencing pain.
Parents need to think about what children do when they don’t watch TV. It would be good if the alternative is to read a book, play outdoors, or chat with parents. But if the alternative is to just sit still and do nothing, then the child feels bored or starts fighting and causes conflict, then letting the child watch TV is a better choice.