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Children and Television: When They Don't Mix

Nov 29, 2007
Today, American children are watching more television than ever before. On average, our kids are spending up to six hours per day in front of a television set. Because of the amount of time spent watching television, the development of a child's behavior and perception of real life are affected. Violent and sexually explicit TV programs dominate the airwaves during primetime, which is when most children and adolescences watch television.

Many studies have found that kids are becoming used to seeing violence on television. As a result, more and more kids are turning to violence, rather than conflict resolution, to resolve problems. When a child looks up to violent television characters as role models, that child is more likely to act out similar violent acts. But parents can help their kids become more responsible television viewers.

Just like so many other behaviors, parents must also control program selections and the amount of time their children spend in front of the television. Most parents watch their normal programs in the presence of their children, believing that it will have no affect on them. It may seems that a 6-month old toddler have no clue about what is happening on the television, but you must keep in mind that these are the most important periods of the child's development.

During the first year of life, the brain develops more than any other time. It is during this time that kids are likely to develop habits and behaviors that they will keep as they grow. Establishing a pattern by limiting the amount of time spent watching television and being selective in program choices can have a positive affect on your child's future program choices and television habits.

Watching television with your kids can also be beneficial in many ways. First, you will be able to bond more with your kids. Spending more quality time together will help you build trusting, open relationships, which will come in handle later. Watching television together can become an educational experience for both parent and child. While learning about their child's perceptions and views, parents can also educate their child on the difference between television and real life.

To help in this effort, it will be a good idea to not allow your kids to have television sets in their bedrooms. With a private television set, it becomes more difficult to monitor your child's time spent watching television and program selections. In most cases, even television control software is not enough to keep most adolescences and teens away from their favorite shows.
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