TV viewing takes away the time that your child needs to develop important skills like language, creativity, motor, and social skills. These skills are developed in the kids’ first two years (a critical time for brain development) through play, exploration, and conversation. A kid’s language skills, for example, do not improve by passively listening to the TV. It is developed by interacting with people, when talking and listening is used in the context of real life. TV viewing numbs your kid’s mind as it prevents your child from exercising initiative, being intellectually challenged, thinking analytically, and using his imagination. TV viewing takes away time from reading and improving reading skills through practice.
Kids who watch a lot of TV have trouble paying attention to teachers because they are accustomed to the fast-paced visual stimulation on TV. Kids who watch TV more than they talk to their family have a difficult time adjusting from being visual learners to aural learners (learning by listening). They also have shorter attention spans. School kids who watch too much TV also tend to work less on their homework. When doing homework with TV on the background, kids tend to retain less skill and information. When they lose sleep because of TV, they become less alert during the day, and this results in poor school performance.
TV exposes your kid to negative influences, and promotes negative behavior. TV shows and commercials usually show violence, alcohol, drug use and sex in a positive light. The mind of your kid is like clay. It forms early impressions on what it sees, and these early impressions determine how he sees the world and affect his grown-up behavior. For instance, children who are more exposed to media violence behave more aggressively as kids and when they are older.
Kids who watch too much TV are usually overweight, according to the American Medical Association. Kids often snack on junk food while watching TV. They are also influenced by commercials to consume unhealthy food. Also, they are not running, jumping, or doing activities that burn calories and increase metabolism. Obese kids, unless they change their habits, tend to be obese when they become adults. TV watching also affects a child’s health and athletic ability. The more television a child watches, even in the first years of life, the more likely he is to be obese and less muscularly fit, according to a study by the University of Montreal. Even though your kid does not aspire to be a football star, his athletic abilities are important not only for physical health, but predicting how physically active he will be as an adult.
Television further restricts an individual indulging in alternative activities such as reading, sports, religion, and active hobbies. Televisions depiction of horror, crime and violence further anaesthetises an individual from the real life problem. As television competes with other activities and experiences in a child’s life, parents role in providing alternatives are crucial. Moreover their own attitudes and beliefs both about television programmes and about life in general are important determinants of children’s response to television. Television may be a socialising force but it interacts in complex ways with all of the other forces in a child’s life to determine the patterns of socialisation for that child.