Television and Children
How big a presence is TV in kids' lives?
Kids with a TV in their bedroom spend an average of almost 1.5 hours more per day watching TV than kids without a TV in the bedroom. Many parents encourage their toddlers to watch television. Most children' s programming does not teach what parents say they want their children to learn; many shows are filled with stereotypes, violent solutions to problems, and mean behavior. For more detailed information on these issues, read on. "It may be tempting to put your infant or toddler in front of the television, especially to watch shows created just for children under age two. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says: Don't do it!
These early years are crucial in a child's development. The Academy is concerned about the impact of television programming intended for children younger than age two and how it could affect your child's development. Pediatricians strongly oppose targeted programming, especially when it's used to market toys, games, dolls, unhealthy food and other products to toddlers. _Any positive effect of television on infants and toddlers is still open to question, but the benefits of parent-child interactions are proven. Under age two, talking, singing, reading, listening to music or playing are far more important to a child's development than any TV show."_ An average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18. Most violent acts go unpunished on TV and are often accompanied by humor. The consequences of human suffering and loss are rarely depicted. Repeated exposure to TV violence makes children less sensitive toward its effects on victims and the human suffering it causes. Viewing TV violence reduces inhibitions and leads to more aggressive behavior. Watching television violence can have...
References: Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan
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