I still remember my childhood days of playing running and catching, lock and key, seven tiles, hide and seek with my neighbours in the evening. The play would be full of fun, competition, care for others, partnership and mostly helps build friendship.
Today it’s become a thing of the past. Children are busy spending time with their best pal – T.V which I call as their “Dormant Companion”. It is true for almost all the generation. Grandparents want to control the remote to watch their mega serials, youngsters want to watch their favourite movie star’s interview or song on T.V and the kids want to watch anything animated!
Can your child operate a T.V remote without your help at the age of 2? Then it’s time you curtail the habit NOW!
Yes! Before boasting about how smart your child can control the remote, think twice about their T.V viewing habits. Here are some simple rules WHY you should be worried:
- Watching too much T.V is bad for eyes. It stresses the eye at an early stage thus causing long term vision irregularities.
- It could hamper the speech development, as the child gets into a dormant mode where T.V does all the talking. This one sided talk makes it more difficult to open up and speak their needs. They also tend to talk like the characters in their favourite serials. Clarity of speech could have adverse affects in the beginning stages.
- Kids tend to become lethargic as the T.V viewing time is prolonged. They relax and go into a world of animations and voices that their attention span to fine motor skills like drawing and colouring begin to deteriorate. It also causes obesity as they tend to eat junk to keep them occupied physically.
- Eating in front of the T.V is a major cause of children not interested in the nutrition of the food they eat. They can eat anything without paying attention to it IF they are watching their favourite serial. This tends to make them unaware of their food habits, thus causing aversions to healthy food later as they grow.
- Another main observation is they tend to imitate their favourite characters habit of walking, talking and expressions. Just like my mother in law observed, Mr.Bean is one clear example of why some kids tend to walk like duck feet; with their two feet pointing outwards and pressing one foot at a time.
Finally kids get into this world of animation which is very difficult to escape from. They get so addicted to a point, that they never realise why they are watching it or what is the importance of the character in the first place.
Although T.V has provided parents a solace to entertain their kids, it is advisable to control the amount of time and nature of content they watch on T.V.
As kids get older, too much T.V time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family.
Tips to control T.V time:
- Set a rule to have your child finish their routine chores before sitting in front of a T.V.
- Set a time for your child to watch T.V. It should not be more than 30 minutes.
- Teach them that IF rules are broken, consequences have to be faced.
- Sit down with them to educate them about spending time watching useful T.V programs like Animal Planet, Discovery, National Geographic and History Channel. Tell them stories and explain what the show is about to get them interested.
- NO food in front of T.V. Kids need to learn the importance of nutrition at a young age to inculcate good eating habits.
[sws_green_box box_size=”600″] Article by,
Principal, Bodhi School, PRRAP-21, Puthen Road, Pettah, Trivandrum-695024