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why tv is good for your child

Children under two should not watch television at all, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and older children should have very limited hours of watching TV. In the real world, parents often rely on television as kind of a de-facto babysitter. It keeps kids occupied while Mom steals a moment to catch up on household finances, chores or other necessary tasks. However, the БTV rots your brainБ canard may be overselling the negatives a bit as more and more parents recognize the positive aspects of TV viewing, particularly with so many quality choices available. Television provides a reason for families to spend time together. Parents can still limit viewing by designating specific hours or programs on a weekly schedule. Setting aside some of those hours specifically for family viewing encourages interaction, conversation and togetherness. Whether it becomes a bonding moment with young kids watching БSesame StreetБ or endless discussions about the plot intricacies of БLostБ with your teens, television can be a catalyst for family interaction. Educational television puts kids in touch with cultures from around the world in a way thatБs deeply engaging. Educational channels like Discovery, The History Channel and especially PBS can expose kids to people and places they wouldnБt otherwise encounter in daily life. Even prime time scripted programming, when age appropriate, introduces concepts that are complex and intellectually stimulating. This can help shape a childБs interest and make him more engaged in classes that deal with those specific topics. There truly is something for everyone on the hundreds of available television channels, and for kids, watching TV in moderation can help develop interests and even inspire further reading on a topic. Parents should be engaged in their childrenБs television viewing so they can be purveyors of further information.

When a child sees something of interest or has questions about a particular topic, parents can use that as a springboard for deeper study. Watching television gives kids whose native language is not English exposure to the conversational rhythms of spoken English. Just like college students taking Spanish are encouraged to go home and watch Telemundo or Univision to develop an ear for the language, students who are learning English can benefit from watching English-language television. Researchers found that television has a social benefit for kids who have difficulty connecting with others, in a study published in the journal Science Daily and conducted at the University of Buffalo and Miami University of Ohio. Shira Gabriel, Ph. D. , one of the studyБs authors, concludes that БHumans can use technologies, like television, to provide the experience of belonging when no real belongingness has been experienced. " The study cautioned that kids withdrawing from family or friends to rely instead on БrelationshipsБ built with television characters is maladaptive, but for those with physical or psychological barriers that make social interaction difficult, television can offer some comfort.
School holidays are looming and with it the dilemma on how to entertain your child. Thoughts of children slouching around in front of the TV all day whilst parents are still at work dredges up mixed feelings of relief and trepidation: At least theyБll be entertained and kept out of mischief but we know that too much TV cannot be a good thing. The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development.

As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family. But TV does not have to be the evil electronic monster turning our babies, toddlers and children into a generation of square-eyed Бblobs. Research has shown that not only is television (with controlled and limited screen time) good for kids it actually makes them smarter. 1. Watch TV with your child, on what they are seeing. б Children who watch educational programs in the company of caregivers actually learn more from the material than children who view without co-viewing caregivers. Why? Children pay more attention to the TV, and view the material as more important, when a parent/caregiver watches with them. 2. TV can help kids learn about a variety of subjects If thereБs a subject your child enjoys, more likely than not, there is a TV show, movie, or educational DVD or You-Tube clip that explores the subject in detail. You might be even be surprised to find out how many kids watch and love educational shows aimed at adults Б БMasterchefБ and БWho wants to be a Millionaire come to mind. Most children are not able to visit the rain forest or see a giraffe in the wild, but many have seen these things on TV. 3. TV can help build analytical thinking skills Asking questions such as БWhat do you think will happen next? Б БWho did it? Б БWhat will the result be? Б БWhat could that character have done instead? Б will help children learn to think, problem solve, and predict, making TV viewing a more active experience Compare and contrast: Develop these skills by comparing characters in movies, sitcoms, or even reality shows. 4. б Use TV and movies to motivate children to read books. Many of the movies and TV programmes are based on books.

Encourage children to read the book or read the book with younger children and then allow them to see the movie. Discussions comparing and contrasting the book and the movie will facilitate language development and thinking skills. 5. Discuss Advertising Young children often do not understand the difference between the TV programme and an advert. It is import to discuss the role and purpose of advertising. Thinking skills and creative skills can be developed in older children by discussing and analyzing the methods that advertisers use. 6. б Good role models and examples on TV can positively influence children teach social skills. Children are influenced by people they see on television, especially other kids. Obviously, this can have a negative result, but it can be positive too. As kids see their favorite characters making positive choices, they will be influenced in a good way. Parents can also point out positive traits that characters display and thereby spark valuable family discussions When children of the same age all watch the same programme, they talk and recreate parts of that programme in their play. This is important for group inclusion as well as the development of social narratives. 7. б TV shows can inspire kids to try new activities and engage in learning. Children enjoy learning activities more if it involves their favorite characters. TV characters can be very motivating especially for younger children. We live in a rich media environment with so much choice and whilst the web is very open, it is much easier to control what is suitable for children to watch on TV and how much time they spend watching. So, sure, you may want to throw up when you hear the theme song to Barney, Dora Explorer or Ben 10 yet again! But maybe you don t need to feel so guilty about it. П

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