Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The big television debate

Is television beneficial for your child, or is avoiding it best? I think a happy medium!!
We have all seen it, people using the television as a babysitter to keep their children entertained. To be honest, I have done so once or twice to get stuff done when it was needed!! But, what is best when it comes to the dreaded box??? Within the first 2 years of a child's life, the development of your child's brain is at a crucial point, and in America the Academy of paediatrics recommend that children under the age of 2 should not watch any television at all. This is mainly because the television can get in the way of social interaction and learning about the world around them.

In moderation, television can be a good thing. It can be educational for children, and I must admit, Emily has learnt some words from watching the television with me. I think that is the key.... if you are going to allow your child to watch the television, sit and watch it with them. This helps with language and social interaction as you discuss what you see. We only have around 20 mins of television each time, usually watching In The Night Garden (Emily can say Daisy, but the whole thing drives me mad!!) or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse( where Emily goes absolutely over excited!!) and usually, I do join her, unless something that needs doing gets in the way!!

We all know television can be detrimental too......... children who generally watch up to 4 hours or more of tv a day are more likely to be overweight. And what your children watch on television can affect their behaviour (eg: violence on tv can lead to violent behaviour) But, i believe there can be a happy medium........ I am not saying place your child in front of the television everyday, I am merely pointing out that if you have some television time in your daily routine alongside exercise, being outside, reading stories and playing with toys, it cannot hurt to spend 20 mins or so sat watching a child friendly program with your little one.

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