Exposing children to too much television can cause health concerns, slower development in the brain, and an addiction to television. It slowly kills your brain cells, because you begin to feed into some of the stupidity that is found on the television. The more scientific facts of why it kills your brain cells is because the more you watch television, you begin to lose sight of the real world. You can begin to think that what you see on television is real. Which we all know it is not, but after a long time it happens.
With both of my children they did not believe in monsters under their beds or in their closets, but seeing it on television enough has made them begin to believe that they are real. Television can also make you lazy and your normal life just fades out. With children it has more of an effect than it does with adults. For the most part every child loves watching television from the moment that they are introduced to the big box. Since television has become more savvy and technical, children have become more fascinated.
They have begun making shows on television that are so addicting because of the amount of drama they have. Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen next, so they feel they must continue to watch just to see what happens. Every child is affected differently by Television, whether it be behavior or health concerns, some are not affected at all. Children’s minds are like sponges, they absorb so much. Our youth learn a lot through physical interaction with others and television.
Times have changed and children spend more time in front of a television now, this can affect them in many ways than one. Take a child with ADHD for example, the child’s ability to stay focused on a screen, though not anywhere else, is actually characteristic of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The stimulation that television provides “is really about the pacing, how fast the scene changes per minute,” said Dr. Dimitri Christakis (Christakis, 2011), a pediatrician at the University of Washington School of Medicine who studies children and media.
If a child’s brain gets habituated to that pace and to the extreme alertness needed to keep responding and winning, he said, the child ultimately may “find the realities of the world underwhelming, understimulating. ” It has also been shown that too much television can negatively affect brain development, especially in babies, whose brains are growing rapidly. (Christakis, 2011) “Scientists in Australia studied 1,492 6-year-olds randomly selected from 34 schools in Sydney. (Bakalar, 2011) This study was conducted by children’s parents answering a questionnaire on how much time their children watched television and how much time their children watched television. Once all of this data was acquired, while adjusting for certain health factors, they found that blood vessels in the eyes of children who watched the most TV were slightly smaller in diameter than those in children who watched the least amount. Results from the study on children and physical activity were similar: the eyes of children who exercised the least had the narrowest blood vessels.
It is a myth that sitting too close to a television is bad for a child’s eyes, this is because children can focus up close without eye strain better than adults. Even though this may not harm a child’s eyes it may be a sign of nearsightedness. (Bakalar, 2011) There are many different types of developmental delays in children, these include; language or speech, movement, or motor skills, emotional and social skills, and thinking, or cognitive skills. Studies have shown that too much time in front of the TV has led to ADD/ADHD and delayed speech development.
These delays in development have mostly been linked to children under the age of two year olds. “Babies who watched 60 minutes of TV daily had developmental scores one-third lower at 14 months than babies who weren’t watching that much TV”. Though their developmental scores were still in within a normal range, the difference in development may be due to the fact that when kids and parents are watching TV, they are missing out on verbal and physical interaction that are essential to learning and development.
Television exposure may decrease verbalization in children and therefore might ultimately effect, “the architecture of the mind. ” It is commonly found that children become dependent on television, this can stem from being use to a certain routine or too much television as a whole. I can speak from experience, as a step-father of a two year old and a four year old, our children use to watch television when they went to bed, they liked the sound and it put them to sleep. As time went on it grew to them staying up until three in the morning.
We started to limit them on how much time they watched television and at bedtime. When this was first started you could see how dependent they were on television, every night it was, “I want to watch TV! ” and they would be told “No, it’s bedtime. ” Crying would follow for a short period of time and eventually they fell asleep and as days went by it became easier and easier for them to fall asleep without the television on. Then my step-children would go to their father’s house, be allowed to watch what they want, when they wanted, and the cycle would start all over when they came home on breaking the dependency.
In the end, everything you do in life will affect your children, but limiting the amount of television they watch could help keep their brain healthy and active. Television can affect learning skills and it can make it harder for them to maintain a social life. Television is like a drug to children and they all love to watch it, and as parents, we tend to let them when they are younger because it is an easy way for our children to be watched while we conduct daily activities. I don’t blame the parents who do not have televisions in their homes because the purpose is to help improve their child in the outside world, to expand their minds.