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I read an article recently and discovered that paediatricians in America do not recommend TV for kids under the age of two. And kids older than two should not spend more than two hours per day watching TV. I was shocked and puzzled at the same time.
The article further explained that between the ages of 0-2, a child undergoes a period of critical brain development. Hence, if the child spends majority of his/her time watching TV, it would interfere with their normal learning, physical and social development. TV will also take the place of normal play in kids, interaction with other kids, exploring and discovery which is peculiar to kids of that age range.
For some reason, my older child did not show any interest in TV until he was about 2 years plus few months. I tried to force him to like cartoon programmes just to keep him occupied and out of trouble but he just wasn't interested. A friend of mine told me not to bother, that soon I wouldn't be able to pull him away from the TV.
Guess what! He's exactly at that stage now. I only get to watch my own TV shows comfortably when he's either asleep or not at home. I even had to download a couple of his favourite cartoons and games on my iPad which i use to distract him when i or his dad really have to watch TV.
TV has a huge impact on a child's psychological, social and mental development hence parents have to be very careful with what their kids watch. Just because its a kids channel or programme does not make it safe. I have realised that a lot of cartoons and kids programmes encourage violence, tantrums, aggression and disobedience in children. I am positive that a lot of parents can relate to this.
Studies have shown that kids that are exposed to violence on TV are likely to display aggressive behaviour. I allow my older child to watch only kids channels such as Cbeebies, JimJam, Cartoonito, Nick Jnr. and Disney Jnr. On these channels you will find really educative programmes that teach children how to count, say the alphabets, identify shapes and colours. Also there are no commercials and advertisements which may not be suitable for kids to watch.
Other steps parents should take to ensure that their kids are watching the right stuff include:
- Understand TV parental guidelines and allow the kids to watch only programmes that are rated suitable for them.
- Preview programmes before allowing your kids to watch.
- Watch TV together with your kids.
Please parents be careful with what you allow your little ones to watch They love to copy what they hear and see. You don't want your child repeating in public something nasty he/she picked up from the TV. You can imagine the shame. My goodness!
Don't forget to drop your lovely comments in the comment section. Have a splendid week!