You just got home with a new batch of groceries. Your phone has been ringing. You decide to put your little one in front of the television for a little while to be able to tend to the chores. The toddler sees a big screen with incredible features. All sorts of sounds and visuals. It is a different, probably a lot more exciting kind of toy! Oh and the little one has seen you play with this toy as well. So it works!
Such trivial events mat lead toddlers to love watching television. Even if what they see does not make a lot of sense to them, they see something new every time. It won’t be surprising if they start to prefer watching television over other toys.
This situation raises flags because the first three years are the most significant period of a child’s development, especially for the brain, which grows faster than other parts of the body- tripling in mass in just 12 months. During this time, a child’s brain is more receptive to positive influences and more vulnerable to negative ones. The stimuli children experience during this period profoundly influence brain development.
While TV provides no educational benefits for a child of this age, it also eats up time for physical activities that actually develop his brain- experimenting with cause and effect. It also takes away the time a child needs to develop necessary skills like language, creativity and social skills. Language, for example, does not improve by passively listening to the TV. It is developed by actively interacting with people as he learns to talk by interpreting adult language.
When kids who watch TV go to school, they have to make a change from being primarily visual learners to listening learners. If a kid watches more TV than interact with the family,the transition will be hard and school learning will suffer. TV may also expose the kid to negative behavior if the parent is not careful. The child does not know the difference between right or wrong. Television may induce baby’s sponge like brain to always expect fast paced inputs. They may not get such fast-paced inputs in their real life which may later affect their personality filling them with frustration, anger and anxiety. It is also found that children watching too much television are more likely to have shorter attention spans, problem concentrating and impulsive by age 7. Sitting in front of the TV while day long ceasing outdoor activities and may cause obesity right in the early years.
While it is advisable, it isn’t always possible to have someone to watch over the kid while you take care of chores.
- Plan chores around baby’s nap time
- Little exposure to the television does not harm, but the parent should accompany the child. Make it an interactive event, use the events to instigate some learning. Respond to their smile, speech and actions.
- If the child asks to watch the TV very frequently, do not always give in. Create a little ecosystem which instills learning, inquisitiveness and curiousness in them.
- Since children tend to mimic their parents, avoid watching too much television in their presence.
Their personality and thoughts depend on what they learn and gain. spend your time with them and make their personality stronger and better.