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the amount of technology we have today has benefitted so many. We learn from technology and use technology at work to do most jobs. Some children use it for games like using the IPad and most use it to watch television; who doesn’t love watching television? Having the television one click away, we find ourselves constantly in front of it whether it be for entertainment or the news to see what is happening in the rest of the world. It’s easy access that can waste extra time on your hands or be a stress reliever after doing a ton of work.
Families and people of all ages enjoy watching television. With this in mind comes the question of whether or not infants and toddlers should be watching it.
People sometimes put their infant or toddler in front of the t.v. in order to get housework done or even just to get them focused on something other than crying.
Others use it as an early learning tool for them. Some think that it is very educational and children should watch it while others think it negatively effects children in a way that it hurts their health because they get addicted to it. Television can be educational for infants and toddlers; they can learn new things such as expanding their vocabulary, increasing knowledgeability, and it can affect their racial attitudes, all of which are positive; it all depends on what you are showing your children.
The first 5 years of life are a critical period in child development.
Many things contribute to the way a child will develop and watching tv is surprisingly one of them. “A Systematic Review for the Effects of Television Viewing by Infants and Preschoolers” proves that educational content on television can positively affect knowledge, racial attitudes, and imaginativeness. This article focused on subjects that were prekindergarten children in the United States who watched television that was broadcasted for public viewing in 2005. They also focused on the television content rather than the amount of time spent in front of the t.v. During the study they limited to each child to 50 minutes per day for 5 days a week for 6 months.
There was a group that watched non educational t.v. programming, educational programs, and no tv as a control group. Programs that aren’t educational obviously are going to have less of a positive effect. Infants and toddlers can still learn from these kinds of programs though. They can understand what bad behavior is when people receive consequences for doing wrong. They could also see what friendships are like and how to be nice to others. This age group tends to copy whatever it sees, so you should focus on educational programs only. Evidence that tv viewing can aid understanding of general knowledge plus improve overall cognition. An example they used is have 173 children to watch either Plaza Sesamo or a regular cartoon. After watching for a specific time, they were tested.
Significant differences were found including general knowledge, cognitive skills, and oral skills between those who watched Plaza Sesamo and regular cartoons where the cartoon watchers weren’t as knowledgeable. Diversity within these shows changes a child’s racial attitude too. Children were shown Sesame Street with white and nonwhite children playing and showed another group of children just their specific race playing. When they were showed a picture after and asked who they wanted to play with, those who saw the mixed race sesame street chose the opposite race children while those who saw the regular, chose their specific race. It is clear that what children watch can affect how they act towards others and how they improve on their own skills. Educational television is not a bad thing; it is actually more beneficial than watching nothing.
Watching television is a complicated concept that continues to be studied. “Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children” uses children in the United States aged two and younger to prove the point that television has a negative effect on young children. Not only does the fact that the film isn’t educational affect a child, but the amount of time spent in front of the screen is not beneficial for them. Watching television as an infant or toddler is positively associated with obesity, sleep problems, depression, and anxiety. Toddlers should want to go outside and play, get exercise in order to stay healthy, but they would rather sit in front of their television. If the show isn’t educational, it gains the attention of more toddlers because they don’t want to focus on learning, they want to see something interesting.
Not going outside like young children used to back when television wasn’t a thing slows the development of skills like crawling, walking, and interacting. You are supposed to be able to start developing those skills from infant to toddler. Instead of doing that children are spending hours in front of t.v. A study of 29 month olds showed the more television watched, the lower their physical strength too. This connects back to the skills like crawling and walking. They aren’t strong enough to try and do those things. Obesity increases as well from screen time . The more time spent in front of the t.v., the more food the child will consume and the less activity or movement they will be doing. The more television being watched, the shorter sleep duration as well.
Toddlers would rather stay up all night watching t.v. rather than going to bed and getting the proper amount of sleep they need. As you can see, there is a pattern. Overall this article is stating that television time and type changes the way a child will develop. Many ask whether television has a greater effect on education or hinders children’s health. Studies show that positive effects on learning and behavior occur from educational programs that are educationally made for this age group. The pros of watching television outweigh the cons of television in my eyes.
Developing new skills, their vocabulary, and having a positive racial attitude is very important when growing up. If young kids are able to develop a greater vocabulary and realize what is right vs wrong at a young age, then as they get older they will be able to realize what is good for their health. They will realize that too much television will hurt them in the long run and prevent them from becoming successful people in the future. Parents should monitor time and content to make sure their child isn’t abusing the television and avoiding health risks that could come from it too. Educational shows for a limited period of time will help young children become strong physically and mentally, and become more intelligent as they get older.
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