‘Television and its effects’ has been one of the most debatable topics for a long time, which seems to have come to no conclusion. While some people believe that watching TV has more advantages than disadvantages, there are others who contradict this belief. Children are amongst the most faithful or loyal TV audience till date. Teenagers may stop watching TV and adults may have no time for it, but children can never be ruled out. They are amongst the most dependable viewers of the idiot box. It is known that the first two years of a child's life make up the most vital phase for the development of the child’s brain. On the other hand, too much of TV can restrict the natural exploration that a child's mind engages in and can also curtail his/her interactions with parents and siblings. It also works against learning and healthy, physical and social development. If a child is addicted to the small screen from a very tender age, it can hinder his growth, in terms of action and behavior. He might become less physically active, stop doing his homework, shy away from playing and even spend less time with family. Read on.
Positive Effects Of TV On Children
- Preschoolers can learn the alphabets, colors and numbers from television.
- Children learn about the world and different cultures through television.
- Children can get information on wildlife and expand their knowledge with quiz contests and others games on TV.
- With television, children can keep a track of the latest happenings and current events.
- Television comes across as an excellent form of entertainment for kids, in the form of cartoons and kids programs.
- It is also a substitute for babysitters as they tend to stay put when they are watching television.
Negative Effects Of TV On Children
- Experts claim that television viewing slows down the mental development of a child. It is also said that television interferes with the imagination, thinking skills and the development of intelligence in the child. Television viewing does not allow a child to develop any opportunities for imagination.
- Children who watch TV for more hours are more likely to be overweight. This is mainly because these children don’t spend their time outdoors playing games or indulge in any physical activity. Instead, they constantly sit for hours together, watching television.
- Children could easily get addicted to television and spend more time watching TV than being with family or friends.
- The aggressiveness and violent scenes shown on TV can create an apprehensive outlook in a child and about the world as a whole. Behavioural changes in children are also witnessed in children, due to the influence of television. They might even imitate the behavior of certain characters featured on television.
- Children tend to pay less attention to their studies and tend to forget about their homework because of television. It is a fact that watching television inhibits the development of longer attention spans.
- Television can instill the concepts of racial discrimination and gender differences in the minds of children, from a very tender age.
- Advertisements influence the eating and drinking habits of children. They might get encouraged to eat unhealthy, especially high calorie foods and drinks.
- Certain advertisements that promote cosmetic products such as fairness creams, shampoos, face washes and so on, tend to influence children to believe that such products are essential for them to look good. Apart from cosmetics, electronic, clothing and various other product advertisements, children get motivated to own various unnecessary things.
- Most children feel insecure about their looks because of too much television exposure. When girls see skinny models and women wearing makeup, they tend to feel insecure about their looks. They compare themselves with those celebrities that appear on the TV only to lose their self-confidence. A lot of emphasis has been laid on looks through television and some girls go as far as becoming anorexic to feel good about themselves.
Proper Ways To Watch Television
- For young children, you can restrict the viewing of certain channels and enable commercial-free programming.
- Sit with your child while he/she watches television and educate the child about what he/she is watching.
- Allot only a certain amount of television time every day so that other activities are curtailed.
There are both pros and cons of watching television. It is up to the parents to ensure that their children benefit from watching television and are not adversely affected.