Whenever this question is asked, parents’ opinions divide into two groups. The first group would argue that the television is an unwelcome guest in their homes while the other would defend this invention for being a source of knowledge for their children. Which opinion do you personally tend to side with? In fact, both parties are to a good extent right. While the cons of this technology are numerous, the pros are also plentiful.
On one hand, simplified cartoon programs could be an informative source for acquiring scientific, social and cultural knowledge. Furthermore, children can develop their linguistic competence by picking up new words and expressions just from watching TV. On the other hand, toddlers below two years of age could be the most fragile group when it comes TV exposure. This is due to their brains’ neurological composition. At this age, children knowledge expand by real tangible interaction with sounds and objects. Unfortunately, TVs only offer an intangible projection of such concepts, negatively impacting the development of creative imagination and critical thinking. While TVs could help some children to learn new vocabulary, they could also encourage others to remain silent. Long exposure to the TV could result in language delay problems, in addition to other complications, such as social introversion and violence.
What To Do?
Parents and nurseries should work together to minimize the number of hours children spend in front of the television; Because we believe in meaningful face-to-face interaction, our policy at Little Academy requires the exclusion of TV from our daily program. It is not only that, we also, during parental meetings, raise awareness about the dangers of long-exposure to TV, and encourage care givers to play with their children instead.
There is no harm in moderate exposure to purposeful children programs. To achieve maximum benefits, parents are advised to watch TV with their children to encourage their critical thinking by commenting and asking questions. Child-parent interaction during this time reinforces conversation skills and discourages passiveness.
If you feel that your child is too attached to the TV, the best you can do is to distract his or her attention by spending quality time together through practicing interesting hobbies and activities, such as drawing, singing, hand crafts, even family visits and trips.