Television has its good side, but it also has a bad side to it. Television can be very entertaining and educational for many viewers, it teaches children about different cultures all over the world and they gain exposure to ideas that will probably never encounter in their own community. Children are the most likely to learn things from television that their parents don’t want them to learn. Television is designed and marketed specifically for babies and toddlers, but whether kids under the age of two should be watching becomes a very important question. Television affects a child’s brain development in many different ways.
Some studies link early television viewing with later attention problems, such as ADHD. One study found that television viewing before age three will slightly hurt several measures of later cognitive development, but then between ages three and five it slightly helped their reading scores. Sometimes, it may be tempting to put your infant or toddler in front of the television, especially to watch the shows created just for children under the age of two. Don’t do it because these early years are crucial in a child’s development. Many pediatricians strongly oppose targeted programming especially ones that are used to market certain products. Television viewing may replace activities that help with school performance, such as reading, doing homework, pursuing hobbies, and getting enough sleep. One research study found that TV’s effects on education were long term and could really affect a child’s performance in school (Boyse). Watching more television in childhood increased chances of dropping out of school and decreased chances of getting a college degree, even after controlling for confounding factors.
Research is shown that two-thirds of infants and toddlers look at a television screen an average of two hours a day (Amercian Academy of Pediatrics). The first two years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. Television and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and other children, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. As children start to get older, too much time in front of a screen can interfere with activities such as reading and doing homework. That’s why it’s so important to monitor the content of television programming and set viewing limits to ensure that your children doesn’t spend too much time sitting in front of the television screen.
The brains of the infant, toddler, and preschooler are genetically programmed to develop most effectively when exposed to an environment