Why TV is bad for kids
Why does TV have such a negative effect on children of this age? “We believe that one reason is the fact that it exposes children to flashing lights, scene changes, quick edits and auditory cuts which may be over stimulating to developing brains,” says Professor Christakis. “TV also replaces other more important and appropriate activities like playing or interacting with parents.”
There have been concerns about infants viewing TV for the last four decades but it has only been in recent years that studies have provided the data to back up those concerns.
“The explosion in infant TV viewing and the potential risks associated with it raise several important policy implications,” concludes Professor Christakis. “First and foremost, the lack of regulation related to claims made by people promoting programs and DVDs aimed at infants is problematic. Educational claims should, and can, be based on scientific data. Despite this, the names of the products and the testimonials they use often convince parents that TV viewing has a positive impact on their infants.
“Secondly, parents need to be better informed about what activities really do promote healthy development in young children. This may provide some defense against the aggressive marketing techniques being employed.
“Last, but not least, more resources need to be made available to fund critical research related to the effects of media on young children.”
I've always wondered about the "My Baby Can Read" dvd programs. And while the concept of it sounds like an ideal strategy, I've always heard that TV interrupts a child's concentration and that any baby under the age of 2 or 3, should not be aware of what the TV is. Good thing I listened.
We (and I'm sure you do too!) pay a great deal of money to have up to a thousand channels. We probably watch maybe 5 to 8 channels back and around of the 1000 we have. It's quite sad actually. I think there was more to watch when cable didn't exist and all we had were channels 2, 4, 5, 9 and 11 and had to move the antenna around for a clear view or wrap aluminum foil on the edges to keep the antenna steady. Go figure.