It’s hard to avoid television these days. Television is everywhere, and the ease of placing your child in front of the screen during a rainy day or as a “substitute babysitter” can make TV a necessity in your home. While movies and TV shows can be fun experiences for the whole family, extended screen time for child is harmful and can actually affect your kiddo’s intelligence later on in life. We’re going to discuss the bad effects of television on children and a few alternate ways to help your children amuse themselves while engaging their brain. If you’re searching for early childhood education in the Phoenix area, Valley Learning Center is the place for your son or daughter. Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, our preschool is perfect for infants to school-age children. Contact us today for more information about our early childhood education!
TV is Bad for Ages Two and Under
If your child is two years old or under, steer completely clear of the screen. Television offers no educational benefits for toddlers and babies, and steals time away from other important brain-developing activities. These activities include:
- Interacting with people
- Learning to sit up, crawl, pull up, or walk, depending on the child’s age
- Trying new activiti
- Developing fine and gross motor skills
A young child aged two or younger desperately needs brain development, and TV time can actually slow down the functions and methods of the brain, causing your child to be slower in development. Important skills, like communication, language, and social skills, definitely will take a hit because children viewing TV exhibit none of these. These skills won’t improve and will actually atrophy because passively watching a screen won’t promote speaking or playing with other children.
TV Numbs the Mind
How many times have you noticed the hours flying by as you spend a lazy day in front of your flat screen? Do you ever feel like your brain is experiencing “pins and needles” after a couple of hours spent watching a show? These effects can be felt also in young children and can seriously affect them later on in school. Kids who have spent hours in front of a screen continually exhibit poorer math, reading, and writing skills than their counterparts who spend time writing, reading, and playing on their own. Children who watch hours of television a day also struggle to learn the processes of reading and writing. Because television is fast-paced and intense, kids who grow accustomed to the instant gratification of TV will grapple with the normal amount of time that it takes to learn a new skill.
TV Can Cause Emotional Problems
As your son or daughter grows, television can have a negative effect on his or her emotional development. The actions and situations that your child views on shows, even if they are seen as positive, can promote negative behavior and impressions of sex, drugs, alcohol, and criminal acts. Kids who are exposed to media violence are noted over and over to be more aggressive and quick to use punches and kicks as a way to resolve conflict, instead of learning to express him or herself through words. Children will also learn negative connotations of authority figures and wrong ways of dealing with issues at school or with friends through media. Television may even cause a child to experience depression or difficulty coping with issues because of how television has shaped their minds.
Fun, TV-Free Activities
To avoid getting stuck in front of the tube, here are some fun ideas for your child to amuse him or herself with, and a few ideas for you to do together:
Painting, drawing, and coloring: If your kiddo loves to create, having an art station for little creations is a great way for your son or daughter to spend a few minutes alone. This can be a fun activity for a child to enjoy while you’re cooking dinner, cleaning, or getting ready for the day.
Models and blocks: Give your son or daughter the tools to build and create new cities, countries, or worlds. This can help your child to learn fine and gross motor skills and develop an analytical mind.
Musical instruments: If your kiddo loves to sing and make music, a small piano, guitar, or percussion set is perfect (though you may have to buy some earplugs for yourself!).
Walks outside: You can start taking walks together as soon as your child is born, and taking a few laps around the neighborhood is a great way to get fresh air, sunshine, and enjoy some exercise. Your kiddo can also burn off some extra energy as well.
Playing with friends: Set up playdates and fun experiences with other kids the same age as your son or daughter. Social interaction is vital to every kiddo’s development. Spending time with children that are his or her own age will help your son or daughter learn to play and interact with other people.
Television is never the answer for your kid. Books, playing outside, and social interaction is always an excellent choice and can truly benefit your child as he or she grows. If you’re looking for a trusted and reputable place for early childhood education, check out Valley Learning Center! We’re proud to offer an incredible learning curriculum for every age and an environment dedicated to learning and thriving. Call us today for more information about how we can help your son or daughter!