Debate on TV Viewing is Harmful for Children
Currently, there is a heated debate on whether TV viewing among children is harmful or not. Television has largely become an integral part of our daily life with more and more families possessing one or more TV sets. Television certainly offers a lot of information which is informative, educative, and entertaining for children. Most of today’s children, including those aged less than two years spend a lot of time every day watching TV. However, too much television viewing, whether for entertainment or information, can have a negative impact on children. Here are 5 of the major negative effects of television watching among children.
- TV Deprives Children of their Time for Important Activities
Television watching takes much of the children’s time leaving them with little or no time to engage in important activities such as problem solving and exploration. These activities play a key role in enhancing the development of the child’s brain because they facilitate the child to acquire vital skills including social, motor, and linguistic skills. However, television watching deprives the child or his or her time for engaging in such activities and this in turn hinders him or her from acquiring the skills. Additionally, too much TV watching is detrimental to the child’s mind because it hinders them from excising initiative as well as employing analytic rational thinking
- TV Watching Harms the Children’s Health
Television watching can have a negative impact on the children’s health. Studies have revealed that excessive TV watching among children increases the risk of those children becoming obese or overweight. Typically, TV watching encourages children to become more sedentary or inactive because they do not have time to engage in physical activities like jumping and running. Physical activities increase the children’s metabolic rate, which in turn burns calories and build their muscles and hence preventing them from becoming obese. Obesity is a key risk factor for other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- TV Watching Lowers the Children’s Self-Esteem
Another negative effect of TV watching on children is that television makes them to have a distorted view of their bodies. Certainly, the characters portrayed on television programs perpetrate grossly inaccurate stereotypes on how children are supposed to behave and look in order to gain acceptance among their peers and become beautiful. Particularly, television commercials are often emotionally manipulating as they create a false need for children to purchase unnecessary things. Overall, commercial advertising makes children to associate physical happiness and beauty products and thus lowering their self-esteem levels.
- Television Feeds Children with False Information
The Children’s brain is not fully developed to discern fiction from reality. As such, children who often watch TV can end up acquiring false information since they take everything they watch on TV as a reality. Specifically, some of the movies being broadcast on TV are largely fiction. Children who watch such movies may end up trying what is portrayed on them and this could cause physical harm on the children.
- Television Makes Children Dumb
Excessive watching of TV may hinder the children’s ability to think critically and creatively. Television often feeds the children with quick analysis, opinion, criticism, and information for almost everything. This prevents children from employing their critical and creative thinking skills. Without effective use of critical and creative thinking skills, children can easily be manipulated and misinformed. However, not all TV programs are harmful for children since some of them are thought-provoking and educative, and hence fostering their critical and creative thinking skills.
Overall, it is clear that the negative effects of TV watching on children overwhelm its potential benefits. Thus, it is important for parents, guardians, and teachers to guide children on TV watching. They should ensure that children are not exposed to too much TV. Additionally, they should also ensure that children are only watching thought-provoking, educational, and age-appropriate programs.