Television and Children
Television can have positive or negative effects on our children. Children learn by watching and imitating adults. Television provides many influences for children that may not be what you wish for your kids. Television has become a "member" of almost every single family on our planet. And not just an ordinary member, but a very important one, because the time spent next to it exceeds the amount of time spent together with any other family member. You do not have to apply any efforts to talk or listen to complaints while “communicating” with it. You do not have to play with your baby son after a hard working day. You can simply turn the TV on and everything is done: kids are quiet, your wife is not complaining and you feel absolutely happy. It is so simple that it has become an integral part of the culture of every family. It is the only time, when a person can forget about all the family troubles and the failures of the day. The sofa opposite the TV set has become the place of “relaxation and spiritual unity” of the family. With television programs—and even a cable channel—designed and marketed specifically for babies, whether kids under age 3 should be watching becomes an important question. Television, movies and other electronics entertainment are not appropriate for children under the age of, even if they seem mesmerized by it.”(Miller, 2013, p326). While we are learning more all the time about early brain development, we do not yet have a clear idea how television may affect it. Television (TV) has its good side. Although many parents may disagree, there are several positive effects of television on children. Most of us with young children grew up watching television. Sesame Street is a PBS classic over 35 years old, with positive ratings for developing literacy, cultural awareness, diversity, imaginative play and ways to deal with feelings. So the American Association of Pediatrics' recommendation that children under the age of two years watch no television at all can be confusing. It can be entertaining and educational, and can open up new worlds for kids, giving them a chance to travel the world, learn about different cultures, and gain exposure to ideas they may never encounter in their own community. Shows with a prosaically message can have a positive effect on kids' behavior; programs with positive role models can influence children to make positive lifestyle changes. However, the reverse can also be true: Kids are likely to learn things from TV that parents don't want them to learn. TV can affect kids' health, behavior and family life in negative ways as well. “If children spend long periods of watching television, they are bound to internalize the language and behavior they see.” (Miller, 2013, p224). Spending time watching TV can take time away from healthy activities like active play outside with friends, eating dinner together as a family, or reading. TV time also takes away from participating in sports, music, art or other activities that require practice to become skillful. TV is a public health issue in several different ways. First of all, kids get lots of information about health from TV, much of it from ads. Ads do not generally give true or balanced information about healthy lifestyles and food choices. The majority of children who watch health-related commercials believe what the ads say. Second, watching lots of television can lead to childhood obesity and overweight. Finally, TV can promote risky behavior, such as trying dangerous stunts, substance use and abuse, and irresponsible sexual behavior. Most parents don't talk to their kids about sex and relationships, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most schools do not offer complete sex education programs. So kids get much of their information about sex from TV. Sexual content is a real presence on TV. Soap operas, music videos, prime time shows and advertisements all contain lots of sexual...
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