By Brianna Siciliano
Television is a great source of learning and entertainment for children, but too much television may not be healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 do not watch television, and that children around the ages 2 through 6 only watch one to two hours of television a day. Is this realistic? Yes. Do most families follow this recommendation? Probably not. Media sources are everywhere today. No matter where you are, you most likely have a television, tablet, or smart phone handy, and with those sources of electricity come games, videos, and more. Past generations grew up without all of these media sources, keeping busy with building blocks and their imaginations, and they turned out fine. Limiting television time is not a terrible course of action to take.
In some cases, limiting the television shows your child watches is a better solution than limiting the time your son or daughter watches TV. While there are television shows that represent great messages like sharing with others and learning educational lessons in a fun way, there are also dangerous shows that promote fighting and violence. Research shows that children who are entertained by violence and fighting become desensitized over time, causing them to brush off the seriousness of bullying. Other outcomes of watching violence are increased anxiety, fear, aggressive behavior, sleep deprivation, and attention and academic problems. If your child is using his or her limited television time to watch violent shows, than there is no benefit of limiting his or her TV time. Instead, it might be best for you to add child blocks to your television and make it impossible for young ones to watch harmful shows.