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Should There Be a Limit on Kids and TV?

Parenting and Child Care
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Should there be a limit on kids and TV? Well, that would depend on how old the child is, how much is being watched and the type of television being watched. The face of television has changed greatly in the last sixty years. Married couples slept in twin beds, no swearing was allowed, and there was never revealing images displayed. Remember Elvis’ hips being blacked out? The censors of the fifties and sixties would be mortified today!

There is definitely a love hate relationship when it comes to children and television. Those in favor of public television, educational channels and channels dedicated to “clean” viewing are offering wholesome “edutainment.” While inappropriate advertisements, syndicated shows that are being aired during what use to be “family viewing hours” and downright racy adult television are being viewed as the culprits to its downfall.

In the numerous studies of the affect of television on children, the results have been conclusively bad. Television is believed to be a chief contributor to the rise in ADD (attention deficit disorder). Television allows children’s brains to be continuously stimulated. Thus, when placed in a situation when quiet, concentration and control are require, children are incapable of coping resulting in fidgeting, confusion and restlessness. Excessive television has also been linked to childhood obesity. By advertising fast food, sugary drinks, candies, and assorted “junk food”; and by engaging children to be sedentary instead of active, television has created society of young “couch potatoes.” There are far too many programs designed to keep children sitting than those aimed at promoting movement. Lastly, aggressive behavior, poor social skills and vulgarity have all been linked to television viewing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents ban children under the age of two from watching any television. Experts also recommend that parents limit television for older children to no more than two hours per day. That raises the question of how parents can accomplish this task.

  1. Replace television viewing with an activity. Preferably one that incorporates movement.
  2. Institute game night after dinner instead of watching television.
  3. Take up an evening walk, rollerblading, or bike riding.
  4. Substitute television viewing with family DVD night.
  5. Allow children to earn appropriate television viewing time by reading, exercising, etc.
  6. Get creative with a few projects.

Should there be a limit on kids and TV? Too much of anything has its consequences and television programs of today are not like programs twenty, fifteen, or even five years ago. Only a mere 2% of the population is without television. Television is a definite influence in today’s society, however, it’s up to parents to monitor shows and set limits to establish healthy viewing habits.

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