You have spent your whole morning looking after eighteen-month-old Jason. While he took his afternoon nap you busied yourself completing the daily household chores.
Now you need some quiet time for yourself, but Jason has woken up and ready for more exciting activities. So you decide to park him in front of the TV and let him watch Sesame Street.
You think you have found a perfect win-win solution. While you catch up on that interesting novel you have been reading, Jason is getting educated. Here is the surprise: It is actually a win-lose solution. You win, Jason loses.
Research studies show that TV programs are not good for children under the age of two years.
The facts about child programming:
- Experts state that babies view TV as a confusing array of images that have no contextual meaning, thus adding nothing to the child’s mental development.
- Children’s programs can have images of violence and often show visual content that may be disturbing to a child in his/her early years. That is because babies and toddlers have a very literal view of the world. Many young children believe that TV characters actually live inside the TV set.
- Television watching is addictive. The more the child watches, the more they want to watch.
- Humans experience the most rapid physical, mental, and emotional growth in the first two years of life. Time spent watching television is the time taken away from more stimulating activities that nurture growth and development.
- Children who watch a lot of television during their early years are at a higher risk for childhood obesity, poor social development, ADHD and aggressive behaviour. According to a study by Yale Family Television Research, teachers characterized children who watched excessive television as less cooperative, less imaginative, less enthusiastic about learning, and less happy than those who watched little or no TV.