We’ve recently talked about how to best utilize tablets and technology for your children and the contributions they can make to your children’s education. Utilizing screens properly can be beneficial for children, but often television is still seen as the big bad of this technological takeover. Like anything, there are good and bad sides to toddlers and television intake. Today, we want to take a quick look at some of the negatives surrounding watching tv and how much (or little) your toddler should consume for the best results.
Too Much of a Good (or Bad) Thing
Like anything, moderation is key. As we have mentioned previously, overexposure to technology can be harmful for children in the long run. The same is true for television. Watching tv is a passive activity, meaning that the viewer is not engaging their brain and is instead just letting things happen, requiring little to no thought. Doing this for countless hours on end can essentially numb the brain, which is opposite of what young children need. Instead, youngsters should be encouraged to engage in actions where they are actively thinking and participating. There is a delicate balance in this realm, as there are shows tailored to get children up and moving, singing, and problem solving, so finding these is crucial to utilizing a child’s screen time.
Sometimes a curious child will get brave and change the channel to a program other than the one their parents had already prescribed for them. This has the ability to expose your youngster to violent or negatively impactful content. Imagine your child is watching their favorite cartoon, works up the courage to nab the remote off the couch, and flips to Game of Thrones or a show depicting a stuntman’s craziest attempts at jumping 40 buses on a unicycle…not the best situation for a developing mind. A child may be tempted to try and emulate these behaviors, either by creating a sword from the sticks outside and swingly madly at anything in their path, or trying to ride their plastic tricycle over a homemade ramp made out of dirt and leaves. While there are great television programs, some may contain material that children shouldn’t see (at least for now).
Much like tablets and other technological screens, television has the magical power to make children want to do nothing. Feeding off the idea of passive brain activity while watching a show, television requires viewers to do little to nothing other than lift a finger to control the volume or channel. Habitually spending hours in front of the tv, whether on the floor, couch, chair, or beanbag, can snowball into sheer laziness in your youngster. They may want to skip practice to watch their favorite show or say no to reading or homework in order to see the latest hit movie. Limiting the television to only a couple hours a day, maybe a little more if necessary, is a step to ensure your toddler or young child knows that it cannot be a huge part of their life.
We don’t mean to completely deter you and your family from allowing your child to watch television. We just want to be realistic in some of the potential (not certain) downsides so you can make a more informed decision.
If you want to get your little one out of the house and in a quality child care facility, Valley Learning Centers has you covered. With the best early learning and day care curriculum in Phoenix, one of our ten locations is sure to fit the bill for your needs. Give us a call or stop by to see how we can help you and your youngster today!