Tv and the Children

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The children daily television show was a half hour program when I was growing up. Now, children can watch television up to 24 hours per day. A study done by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Children’s Digital Media Centers (2003) statistical findings show that 43 percent children under the age of two watch TV every day. By the age of two, 74 percent of all infants and toddlers have watched TV. On average children under six spend two hours per day in front of the TV screen. About the same amount time the children spend playing outdoors. Comparing TV watching to reading or being read to, TV viewing time is three times higher.

According to Gordon (2009), young children’s aggression increases by direct or indirect television viewing. Parents should be aware, she claims, of the time children are exposed to television or other multi media especially since many children’s programs consist of a high level of violence. In addition young children also frequently watch violent programming intended for adults, for instance the daily news.

Children at a young age already have their favorite TV shows and TV characters. Since preschoolers with their rich imagination could have a hard time distinguishing between fantasy and reality, it is especially difficult for them to understand the differences between television violence and real-life violence. As a result, television can teach young children about violence and aggressive behavior. For example, 4-year-old boys who watch programs featuring superheroes will want to be a superhero. These superhero characters are powerful and effective often solving problems with violence. Young boys who watch these programs could learn to associate violence with success and excitement. Therefore, parents should monitor the content children are viewing and explain to them whether the context is violent or not a real-life scenario.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children 2-years-old and under do not...
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