Internet and TV:
How much is too much for young children?
How much TV and gaming, educational or not, is too much for young children? In the USA, 47% of children ages 2 to 18 years old have a television set in their bedrooms. On a typical day, they spend an average of 5.5 hours using media; including television, computer games, and the Internet. (Kaiser Family Foundation Newsletter, 2001) While there are a lot of different television and online educational sites that can be beneficial to a child’s education, parents should often monitor or regulate the amount of TV and Internet young children watch because it inhibits social development, shortens children’s attention span, and sometimes it is not always intellectually stimulating. Social development can simply be explained as improving the well-being of an individual in society so they can reach their full potential. A society success is directly linked to the well-being of each individual citizen. With so many things on TV that can be negative there are so many shows and internet games that get your children up and physically active and wanting to learn. Shows such as Yo Gabba Gabba which teaches children how to eat healthy, get up and move around, how to help take care of the planet you live on and how to care about what others may feel. Ni Hoa Kai-Lan teaches the importance of social development as well as discovering new ways to recognize and deal with their emotions. As it is said children are the future to our society and they start to learn who they are during social development. Understanding who they are, what they feel, and what they expect to receive from others is the key concepts of their social-emotional wellness. These key concepts contribute to a child’s self-confidence, empathy, their ability to develop meaningful lasting friendships and soon partnerships. It also contributes to their sense of importance and value to those around them. In a recent article author Kristen Reinberg stated, “Children’s social-emotional developments influence all other areas of development: Cognitive, motor, and language development. They are all greatly affected by how a child feels about their self and how they are able to express ideas and emotions. The greatest influence on a child’s social-development is the quality of the relationships that he develops with his primary caregiver.” (Kristen Reinberg, MS, LMFT) I believe this statement to be so true. Children learn from what they see or even experience at home first. Children need good social skills in order to succeed in this day and age. Children should be learning necessary social skills at home first and school second. I think the main necessary social skills that all children should be taught early on is being polite and acting appropriately in any situation. Along with social development, children need physical activity. Not only will it aide in your child’s social development, it also gets kids outside playing with and learning from others. Learning early on that sometimes others may do things you don’t like but getting upset or angry towards another individual is not acceptable and definitely not polite I believe to be helpful in a child’s emotional development. Physical activity also teaches children how to use their words more often than their actions. Knowingly replacing physical activity with inactivity in a child’s life directly links them to an increased risk of obesity and can lead to so many other chronic diseases. Physical activity helps children stay fit and ultimately creates a happy confident child. A child’s attention span is basically based on the amount of time a child can concentrate on a single task without allowing themselves to be distracted. A child’s attention span is measured in two ways. The more common one being focused attention. Focused attention is a short-term response to an impulse that attracts the child’s attention. Shows...
References: American Journal of Pediatrics, Newsletter (2011)
American Pediatric Association (APA), 2009
Broota Aruna, PhD (2010) Social Development in Children at a Glance
James Dobson (1998) www.christianindex.org
Kaiser Family Foundation Newsletter (2001)
Article (2000) www.parents.com
Phillips, Sherry www.awakeparents.com
Reinberg, Kristian, MS, LMFT
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