Growing up in an indian household, my tv time was mostly limited. Just like me many of the indian kids were often restricted to certain rules when it came to the television, such as just an hour of TV in a day or the most common one being, no television while eating. But what the actual question is that how much tv is actually good for us?
The television isn’t just called an idiot box for no reason, that name was acquired by our multi-coloured HD TVs for a reason. A lot of researches have been conducted to find out whether, it is beneficial to allow your child to enjoy the pleasures of television or not, and there has been a great amount of debating regarding the same. While it educated your child it also leads them to an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. According to report conducted by the American Academy of paediatrics, children below the age of two should not be exposed to television at all. Whereas children above the ag of two should be restricted to a TV viewing time of not more than 1-2 hours.
This isn’t just said for no reason obviously, but over exposure to the television causes a lot of problems in children, some of them being-
Obesity- The more advertisements they watch about junk foods the more they will crave, children have scientifically been proven to overeat while watching TV. Other than obesity, watching too much of television has also seen a rise in irregular sleep patterns, violence, behavioural problems, impaired academic performance and obviously a decrease in physical activity.
While the television might educate your young one and teach them about the current affairs and more on, it at the same time teaches them a lot about things that aren’t relevant to them at such a young age, such as the need for identical clothes, accessories or jewellery, and as a matter of fact even modern gadgets. More over the antics done by the actor or cartoon characters often result in children imitating them to dangerous levels often leading them into life threatening situations.
According to another report by AAP the increase in violence on small screen is so much that a child would have witness 8000 on screen deaths by the time he completes grad school eventually making them seeing such a gruesome act as “nothing that great”. There was a time when letting them vile their time away infront of that screen seemed no big deal because all they were watching was Tom and Jerry or maybe the PowerPuff Girls. Now that I look back to these shows, while they might have seemed hilarious there was a great amount of violence associated with them too. So while making them watch this I think what we instilled in their head was that it was okay to bang a frying pan in someone’s face, even after which they will act just fine. And how much of knowledge are these cartoon series actually imparting to our kids? If their knowledge turns out to be solely based on these then honestly we will turn into a nation filled with obese and dumb witted children.
In America an average child watched 6 hours and 32 minutes of TV and I am sure it will come out as no shock that the obesity rate in that country is rising higher than any other as children turn away from healthy food to junk. So now it is up to the parents to decide whether they want their child believing the physical joy of plying games and running around to reflect in their children or that periodic temporary laugh that resonates after the cat catches the mouse?