Some parents have adopted the habit of making children sit in front of the television to keep them occupied without knowing that it has several negative effects. As a parent, how have you tried to control the time your child spends watching TV? Without restrictions, child growth and development can be affected negatively in the long run as a result of spending long hours watching television.
In an interview with Women Today, Pastor Emmanuel Muhire advised parents to always monitor their children and control the hours children spend on television.
“You have to be friends with your child in order to convince them that too much television is bad. If you stop them, they will feel like you are harassing them. I always occupy my children with games and books and the only time they get to watch television is when we are watching the news,” Muhire explained.
Muhire who is also a Youth Pastor at Healing Center Church said that he spends most of the time playing with his children and doing homework to distract them from spending too much time watching television.
According to an article published on kidshealth.org, How TV affects your child, two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch TV an average of two hours a day while children under age of six watch an average of two hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs. Eight to eighteen year olds spend nearly four hours a day in front of a TV and almost two additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) playing video games.
The article further states that the first two years of a child’s life are considered a critical time for brain development. Television and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development.
Apparently as a child gets older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family.
The online website Parenting in America in its article Protecting Children from Harmful Television: TV Ratings and the V-chip also states that more research suggests that television viewing is related to a host of negative outcomes in children.
Studies have proven that television viewing is associated with aggression “desensitisation” to violence, and increased fear (Wilson et al., 1997). Given that children’s exposure to television is inevitable, parents may wonder what they can do to protect their children from experiencing these and other negative effects.