How Much Television is Good for Your Kids

Mind Mind
8-10 8-10
Anjali Chaudhary
3 years ago
Family with television

As children grow, they often start learning from the things they see and start getting influenced and imitating the same actions. Especially, in today’s world when digital influence is so much that kids grab most of their knowledge from it. Digital media includes television, the internet and smart devices. Many children watch a lot of digital media. Some programs are educational, but most of it promotes violent behaviour, which we don’t want our kids to imitate. Most kids are addicted to devices like television, laptops, tablets and mobile phones well before they can ride a bicycle.

Here are some of the facts about kids who are addicted to television:

  1. Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight.

  2. Kids who view violent acts on TV are more likely to show aggressive behaviour and to fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.

  3. Teens who play violent video games and apps are more likely to be aggressive.

  4. Characters on TV and in video games often depict risky behaviours, such as smoking and drinking and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.

That is why parents need to keep a check on their kid's screen timing and one should set limits to make sure that kids don’t misuse the technology.

We recommend the screen time according to the guidelines given by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Babies and Toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time, except for video-chatting with family and friends.

  • Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver.

  • Preschoolers: No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they're seeing.

  • Kids and Teens 5 to 18 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. The media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being physically active.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that kids are not watching anything that will harm their social and emotional development. Often, working parents forget that their kids have been in front of the television for more than an hour and due to continuously watching, kids start learning from what they see.

Here are some positive things kids learn, while they watch television:

  1. English: Kids who watch English programs and movies tend to learn quicker and better English. Kids tend to learn quickly from what they see: new words and phrases 

  2. Valuable Family Time: Kids often spend time with their families while they watch television. Let it be a prime time, when everybody in the house watches television together or while eating dinner, etc. When parents discuss the shows or movies they watch, kids try to involve in the conversations and this helps in the long run.

  3. Creativity: Television also influences the creativity of the kids. Kids often learn about their interests from television. Parents should keep a watch on what kids are learning from television.

  4. Social Connectedness: Often kids who don’t have friends in school or near the house, tend to watch television to have a sense of connection. Often to kids with social interaction difficulty, television provides a sense of comfort. 

Here are some negative things kids learn, when they watch television:

  1. Violence: Often kids watch cartoons or shows that promote violence. One should make sure that kids don’t watch such things. Kids also watch reality shows and action movies, which promote violent behaviour. Often these things lead to aggressive behaviour in the kids.

  2. Risky Behaviour: Often on television, we can see actors drinking and smoking. With a small warning sign of danger, which is not understood by the kids. So parents should be more careful about making sure that kids don’t watch any show/movie which promotes smoking/drinking. Often kids learn from these shows and later imitate it in life.

  3. Racism: Kids learn racism from television too. Racism towards the black, LGBT community. Making them a judgmental person.

In the end, we would love to say that everything has its pros and cons and should not always look at the negative side and put the judgment. To make a better effect of television on your child’s life, one should make sure that the screen time doesn’t be more than what is given in the guidelines. One should have a proper check on what kids are watching, one should have proper knowledge about the shows and what educational values kids are getting from the particular show.

Happy Parenting!

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.