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Posted by Maya Chivi
' Back to 18 in Mind - Blog

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Effects of TV on your kids: A little weekend tip!

You may know that TV is bad for children, but are you aware of the real developmental impact it has? Since colour TV was first introduced on March 25, 1954, we’re talking about TV and your kids. While most experts warn that over an hour of TV has a negative impact on children’s development, especially in the first few years of life, more studies show that even minimal exposure of 30 minutes a day has a negative effect on children.

On an educational level, children who watch TV on a regular basis tend to have lower math scores, are less engaged in the classroom, and are more likely to be mistreated by their classmates.  Moreover, watching more TV leads children to develop more unhealthy eating habits, including eating and drinking more snacks and soft drinks, of being less physically active, both in general and on the weekends, and more likely to struggle with obesity. Keep in mind that children under the age of seven have a difficult time distinguishing between their catoon and the commercials on TV, especially if the same characters are promoting the products.

As it is mostly a passive activity, time spent watching TV is taken away from time playing, engaging with other children or adults, or being physically active—all of which have negative effects on children’s social, cognitive, behavioral, and gross and fine motor skills. If you do want your children to watch TV, viewing quality programs for a limited time per week may include educational stations or programs, such as Sesame Street, National Geographic or Discovery Kids.

P.S.: At a time when you learn about 3 year old children who try to French kiss their parents as a result of watching soap operas since their infancy with their moms; five year old boys who are excessively aggressive and violent with their siblings and classmates and unable to sit still in the classroom as a result of watching WWF for several hours a week; or five year old girls who are hypersexual, want to wear makeup, and dress up in like Miley Cyrus as a result of watching Disney Kids’ shows like Hannah Montana (intended for seven year olds) from the age of two, as a Child and Youth Development Specialist, I strongly recommend turning off the TV and allowing your children to have fun reading, learning through play, and developing their imagination!

Have a great weekend!



N.B. In response to a Facebook reader’s question, “Do you know anything about the wiggles or baby einstein, brainy baby or baby tv ? Dora, winnie the pooh?? Or all the same???”, I provided the following response:

Wiggles: Three of the “wiggles” men studied Early Childhood Education in Australia, and, therefore, they aim to use music with child development theories as well as looking at things from the child’s perspective. They also aim to engage children in different tasks instead of telling them what to do.

Baby Einstein; Brainy Baby; Baby TV (and the other “Baby” series: Mozart, Shakespeare, and Galileo): Disney has had to refund clients in the U.S. (for Baby Einstein) because of the false claims/advertising they have made to parents by indicating that children will be smarter as a result of watching the videos. In the end, the videos are just a form of ‘TV’ babysitter and in fact could have a negative impact on infant and child development. TV exposure between the ages of 1-3yrs. is associated with attention problems by the time children reach the age of 7yrs.

Dora & Winnie the Pooh: Found to assist children with learning about different cultures (Dora). However, as the Children’s Television Act in the U.S. was revised and changed policies on the educational requirements of children’s TV programs, the educational benefits of watching cartoons has been affected. 

For further information on the effects of these particular programs on your child, following is a list of articles citing educational research results. All articles, except for one (see note below), indicate to negative effects of TV viewing for children. 

I hope this helps! 

For further information, please fee free to contact me for an online parenting consultation.







The only study to find some positive results on Brainy Baby–however, the study was funded by the The Brainy Baby Company itself: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/university-study-finds-infants-can-learn-from-brainy-baby-dvds-84721307.html











Dora: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-08-10-dora10_ST_N.htm