Saturday, February 6, 2010

Television for Kids - Mixed Messages For Parents

When it comes to raising children, there are a million opinions on the "right" way to do it. But it is almost universally accepted that television is bad for kids. Or, at the very least it should be considered a last resort. The general consensus about television for kids is summed up in this post on
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.
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.
Most of us start out as brand new moms thinking that we'll NEVER let our kids watch TV. But after a while, it seems foolish not to at least once in a while. Before you know it, they are being educated and entertained by the likes of Elmo, Moose A. Moose, Dora and the rest of the gang. Watching these shows, you are constantly reminded by the networks that their shows are "like preschool on tv" and are "educational programming."

It is no wonder that many parents feel conflicted. If television is so bad for kids, why are there so many shows--in fact networks--dedicated just to pre-school programming? Why do young children seem to learn valuable information so quickly from watching TV? How can children's educational television be both harmful to their development and based on the research of educators and childhood development specialists?

These are difficult questions to answer--so I'm putting it to you. What do you think the real impact of television is on young children? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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