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TV is bad for children

Like books can help children learn new information, watching television also allows children to learn and experience new things in the world around. Children can see and hear other people experiencing things around the world. Undoubtedly, TV can be a way of keeping children occupied in a safe, controlled environment when caretakers have other tasks around the house.  It is difficult to keep television away from children. In the house, people are usually tuned into TV. In some houses, the television is constantly kept on even when no one is watching.  It is a common practice for caregivers and parents to use TV as a substitute babysitter.   Others may buy videos that appeal to children.

Unfortunately, some researchers have cited some negative effects of TV on children.  While various factors have been cited as contributing negatively to growth and development of children, TV has numerous benefits that accrue to children. While numerous sources cite the negative effect of media violence on children, some positive effects may stem from exposure to violence. It may serve as a caution to children. Protecting children from media violence may have negative impacts. It results to an imagination that the world is a perfectly peaceful place where violence does not exist. However, this is not the reality and children only grow to be naïve and ignorant. Exposing children to media violence through television helps them learn how to deal with violence and dangerous situations.

TV also serves educational purposes. Children may learn a lot from television programs. Children may learn different languages, count numbers, learn about animals and increase their imagination. It has often been suggested that watching television does harm to children’s developmental skills. However, other studies show that television enhances intellectual development. Televisions feature educational and informative programs that have positive effects on children. For long, television viewing has been held responsible consistently for impacting negatively on children’s developmental skills. But the authors of different studies argue that not all television programs are fashioned equally. Children who watch educational programs are likely to perform better on tests of school-related skills than those who do not watch educational television. Thus, televisions programs are important in broadening children’s knowledge, increasing their imaginations and affecting their racial attitudes(Mares & Woodard, 2005).  Different studies suggest that particular television programs can aid in the acquisition of general knowledge as well as the improvement of overall cognitive knowledge among children. There is also evidence that television programs positively influence children’s imaginative play. Additionally, educational television programs that put emphasis on diversity can improve children’s racial attitudes.

Some research studies do not find any interference with reading and playing outdoors. Children spend different time watching television and on homework. Contrary to the common belief that Television harms eyesight and hearing, television does not harm eyesight or hearing unless it is too loud. In fact, a caretaker or parent may pick up a child’s hearing or vision problems when the child needs to sit very close to the television screen in order to see it or if they need to turn it up loud. The question should be how much TV is good for children.  Certainly, it is harmful to children to be exposed to too much television or exposed to the wrong kind of programs.  Television programs are very popular with children, and they provide quite a different experience from that provided by educational materials such as books. The major difference is that children have to follow available programs at the speed dictated by the TV program. In the case a child misses anything, or fails to understand what is happening, television programs do not provide the chance to ask questions.  On the other hand, when a child listens or reads a story, he can stop and ask questions or reread the chapters(Anderson & Pempek, 2005).

The two ways of interacting are vital for learning.  To avoid missing any information, Children learn to focus attentively. The practice can be transferred to a classroom situation where children also need to focus on content delivered by instructors. However, Television becomes a powerful teacher only after a child is able to comprehend information. By eighteen months, children can pay selective attention to understandable content. Comprehension increases after that.  Highly effective television programs carefully consider the target audience’s aptitude to understand production techniques and content. Children will watch those programs that are easy to comprehend(Greenfield, 2014).

Hence, children gain in language, life experience, and cognitive maturity by watching more complex and diverse forms of content. For these reasons, Television can be a powerful influence on children.  It is helpful to be positive about the good side of television and maybe suggest particularly suitable programs.  Of course, television should be watched in moderation so as to result in positive effects.  While various factors have been cited as contributing negatively to growth and development of children, TV has numerous benefits that accrue to children. No doubt that television can be an effective educator and entertainer.


Anderson, D. R., & Pempek, T. A. (2005). Television and very young children. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(5), 505-522.

Greenfield, P. M. (2014). Mind and media: The effects of television, video games, and computers. Psychology Press.

Mares, M. L., & Woodard, E. (2005). Positive effects of television on children’s: A meta-analysis. Media Psychology, 7(3), 301-322.

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