How television affects your child’s development

Although television entered our lives about 75 years ago, it is developing very rapidly today and is at the center of our lives. So why is TV so popular? The fact that it appeals to more than one sense and that a visual feast emerges with the combination of movement, sound and colors attracts the attention of everyone from 7 to 70. It is interesting even for newborns. After the internet became available all over the world, communication has become quite easy. The harm from television is similar problems such as language development, psychosocial problems (learning difficulties, school problems, social behavior).

According to research, children spend up to four hours a day watching television. Relationships between developmental problems such as violence, aggression, smoking, antisocial personality disorders and television have been investigated and it has been observed that television programs reveal behavioral disorders.

Negative Effects of Television on Child Development

Curiosity is at the forefront of preschool children. Vivid colors, rapid stimuli and sounds seen on television can easily affect him. Children are very careful, especially when watching cartoons. They show a great interest in stimuli out of curiosity and a sense of discovery. In the primary school period, the frequency of watching television in terms of children’s tendency to violence is an issue that needs attention. The child, whose comprehension ability develops, can make comments about the events. He can imitate those around him. During this period, the child watching violent programs may become aggressive over time. He can easily adapt what he sees in the virtual world to his real world. Since adolescence is an important period in terms of identity development, adolescents can easily adopt the characters they see on television and identify themselves with them. They can easily exhibit the risky behaviors they see (unprotected sex, substance use, theft, gang formation, fraud, fast driving).

In addition, the risk of obesity increases in children who spend too much time in front of the television. Eating habits are deteriorating. Children now prefer to spend time in front of the television instead of spending time playing hide-and-seek, dodgeball and running with their friends on the streets as in the past. Instead of eating at a desk with their family, they turned into children eating in front of the TV. They consider the junk food they watch in advertisements suitable for them as food, and they avoid vegetables and fruits. They gain excessive and rapid weight because they prefer foods made with high-calorie, saturated fats. The risk of obesity in children increases due to increased inactivity.

Negative psychological behavioral changes such as irritability, anxiety and fear are observed in children who watch television excessively. It is known that children who spend time in front of TV for a long time have delayed bedtimes and sleep problems, which negatively affect physical development.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARENTS ON MEDIA USEAccording to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2011), children aged 0-2 should stay away from the internet and television, children aged 3-5 should be limited to 1 hour a day, and children aged 6-18 should be limited to 2 hours.

Children should not use media alone as much as possible. These activities should be carried out with their parents.

Children’s relationships with peers in the real world should be supported and encouraged to play.

The harmful effects of the Internet and television should be explained and informed to the child. TV and internet should not be used as a tool that allows children to eat and silence them when they cry.

Considering their cognitive and social-emotional development characteristics, a protective symbol arrangement has been introduced for children to protect them from harmful content to be detected in audio-visual broadcasts. Parents should have knowledge about this issue (Radio Television Supreme Council, 2014).

The cartoons that children watch should be reviewed, if necessary, they should be watched together, and explanations should be given to the child when deemed necessary.

The programs to be watched should be chosen with the whole family and the TV should be turned off when the program is over.

Parents should not forget that they are a model for children with the programs they watch.

Decisions made with the child can be drawn up as a written contract. Computers should be in a common room. When appropriate, the family should be able to control the child comfortably.

Parents should know about search engine filtering, content limiting services.

If the child has difficulties in establishing and maintaining friendship relations, support should be provided and if this situation persists, help from a specialist should be sought.

Children should be directed to sports in terms of their spiritual and mental development.

Instead of watching TV at home, they can do activities (reading books, playing games) together.




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