In today’s world, both fun and education are very important. Children should pay attention to their studies but along with it they should also be given proper means of entertainment. We have many forms of media that help us do so. If you wish to go through the different forms of media and how they help in child development, then you can go through our article Role of Media in Child Developmenet. One of the most famous sources of media that provides entertainment is television.
Nowadays, television is the major source of influence for kids as well as adults. It impacts them in both positive as well as negative ways. The effects of television on child development are many as it is a very influential source. The impact that it has on children gets reflected in their daily behaviour.
So, let us study about the role of television in child development and how it impacts their mind and psyche.
What is the Role of Television in Child Development?
In this era, our society has become more digital or screen-oriented. Our lifestyles, behaviours and attitudes are all based on what we watch or see on the screen. TV is one of the most popular screens in today’s world. It is visible source of media and has various benefits for us all.
Let us study about the eleven positive impacts that television has in the life of a child and his development.
1. Helps in Learning
Television is a great source of learning for all. It has something for us all. We all learn different interesting things from the television. Like, young kids might learn rhymes and stories from it. Growing teenagers can learn about various interesting and educational things from various channels, like Discovery or Geography.
2. Best source of Entertainment
Without any doubt, television is the best source of entertainment for us all. It entertains us in so many ways, with the different kinds of interesting programs that come on it. Some of them are of comedy in nature, which make us laugh, some are emotional while others are for fun. All these programs keep us deeply entertained and make us happy and smile.
3. Information about the World
Television is like a box of information. It has something to say about any and every subject or topic of the world. It could be any subject, like science, wildlife, politics, music or dance. There is a separate channel for each subject and a lot of programs that can give us relevant information on the topic of our choosing.
4. Acts as an Unbiased Teacher
Television is just like an unbiased teacher. It just keeps on giving you information. What you do with it, is totally your choice. It gives you the information you want and on whatever topic you want, but it does not tell you what to do with that information. It leaves the final choice and decision on you.
By showing the various manners and modes of communication (like, intra-and inter-personal), television also helps those children in learning communication skills who are generally a bit shy and hesitate while talking in public or in front of some strangers. It helps them overcome their shyness and help them become extroverts.
6. Promotes Social Messages
Television is a great platform to promote social awareness. It helps the government and many other social agencies promote their social messages. The reason behind this is that the television has a huge mass following. A lot of people watch tv so whatever gets telecasted on it reaches a lot of people and tends to have an impact on a mass scale.
7. Assist in Good Parenting
Television assists young parents in their parenting skills. It is able to do so by showing various interesting programs that teach young kids to be good and honest and sincere children. It teaches these kids that good behavior is always the right way to go about things and in the process helps the parents as well.
8. Exposure to Positive Inspirations
Television shows various positive and inspirational programs. Such programs bring a spirit of positivity in the minds of the person watching the program. It inspires them to do better things and look for positivity around themselves.
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9. Helps People Relax
Watching good, positive and entertaining programs or cartoons help children relax. They feel good when they see happy or entertaining things on the television screen. It helps them unwind and makes them forget their stress of peer pressure, homework or any other reason. For some time, they are able to forget all their troubles and just relax; all because of television.
10. Source of Great Family Time
Television is a great source of family time. It brings the entire house together. Sometimes, all the members of the household come together to watch a program. In that moment, television acts as a bond that brings the entire family together and leads them to spend some happy and fun-filled moments in the company of each other. Children generally crave and wish for such family time.
11. Gives us Information about Various Products through Advertisements
One of the biggest perks of television is that children get to see advertisements of different products. These ads give them information about the various products related to them and they become aware. So, the next time they go to the market, the children are already preloaded with information about what to buy and what not and the reason behind the decision.
So, you read about the positive ways in which television affects our lives but there is a flip side to everything. So, now let us try and understand the negative effects that television has on child development and why does it affect them in that manner.
Negative Effects of Television on Child Development
Some of the major negative effects that television has on child development are discussed as follows:
- Television takes the children away from other different kinds of interesting extracurricular activities. They don’t want to do any outdoor activity. They just want to sit and watch television and not play outside or play different kinds of games.
- Sitting or lying down for hours while watching television makes the children obese. Without doing any kind of physical activity or effort, the children just keep on lying for sitting for hours. This makes them fat and unhealthy and leads to obesity.
- Sometimes television tends to show such content that is inappropriate for the eyes and minds of young children. This kind of content creates wrong impression in the minds of young children and easily leads them on wrong paths.
- Due to the non-stop watching of television, children do not go out to meet their friends. They reduce their socializing and so their inter-personal skills do not develop at all. This makes them just fat, uninterested in things around them and also tend to lose their friends in the process, as they get out of touch from them.
- Children tend to watch television for long hours in the night. This causes sleep deprivation and disturbance in them. They do not sleep for enough hours, which is unhealthy for them. Unhealthy sleeping and waking hours tend to affect the mental and physical health of children, which is a matter of grave concern for parents.
- A major negative effect on young children of constant watching of TV is increase in the level of aggression. Children tend to become more quickly and get very aggressive when stopped from watching TV.
How Much TV Should I Allow My Child to Watch? (Parents Biggest Concern)
We just read about the positive and negative effects of television on young children. All these effects cause a huge amount of stress of the minds of parents. However, in today’s time and age there is another big concern that constantly troubles the parents, i.e., how much TV should they allow their child to watch.
While trying to figure the amount of time that a parent should allow his child for watching TV, they should always ensure that they are able to strike a healthy balance. Based on the studies conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), researches have concluded that the children below the age of 18 months should not be allowed to watch television at all, and from the age of 18 months to 5 years, TV time should be restricted to just one hour per day.
For kids from the age of 5 to 18 years, the limit to watch TV should be decided by their parents, and they should also ensure that the TV is switched off while they are eating their food.
Watching TV is an important part of one’s childhood. When it is used appropriately, it leads to people enriching their minds and thoughts. The habit of watching TV for a specific number of hours also inspires creativity and increases the social skills in small children and it helps them satisfy their thirst for knowledge.
So, we can see that television plays a crucial role in the child’s development. It makes and opens his mind to various possibilities. The role of television in child development is that it also helps the kids to concentrate on watching the instructive and informative content that is shown on TV.
It helps them enrich their knowledge and hone their artistic and inventive skills. Also, when kids watch TV along with their family then they tend to bond with each other in a better way.
However, despite all the good things that TV provides, parents should ensure that they remove TVs from their children’s bedrooms, and whenever they want to watch it, they do so in the company of the elders.
Also, along with TV children should be made to do various kinds of extracurricular activities too that help in their mental and physical development and is able to reduce the impact of television on children.
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