Children And Television Essay

2472 words - 10 pages

As Americans we should be very concerned about the effect that television is having on our children. Today's children watch far too much television. As a result, a number of horrific conditions occur, which could have easily been prevented, if we as parents and caregivers simply would get off of our lazy butts and just turn off the tube. The National Coalition for Children and Families states, "By the time adolescents graduate from high school, they will have spent 15,000 hours watching television, compared with 12,000 hours spent in the classroom." The influence that television is having on America's children is having alarming results. Everyday we are seeing more and more children with developmental delays, distorted realities, and just plain laziness. Children as young a one year old and younger are influenced by television, and the effects have already begun to take place before we even notice that the baby is watching.

Television has become a complete nuisance. It has taken hold of our children's lives and it is sucking their energy, creativity, and personalities right out of them. There are many educators, caregivers, and parents who are under the belief that television is an essential learn tool and has helped many children to advance beyond their age level. Many shows such as Blue's Clues, Sesame Street, and Barney are geared to teaching young children between the ages of 2 - 5. But the truth of the matter is children at this tender age are watching television without receiving any personal interaction. One on one interaction is a key developmental tool that is so desperately needed for toddlers to be able to progress in learning. But a line must be drawn when we allow television to be the sole teachers of our children, just because it's easier, or because we are too lazy to do so ourselves. In a startling announcement in August 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommended, "Children under age 2 watch no television at all." They pointed to the importance of face-to-face interactions with parents for child development. A concurrent study conducted by the Children's Hospital of Cincinnati and reported by ABC News states "40 percent of 2-year-olds are watching a minimum of three hours of television a day." These numbers are simply alarming. The report goes on further to state "That kids under 2 shouldn't be watching TV at all and those between 2 and 5 should be strictly limited to two hours a day." We are setting a pattern from an early age in these small children that will affect the rest of their lives.

Another concern is the fact that many of us are using our televisions as a live in babysitter. As an example, every Saturday morning your child wakes up at 6:00 A.M. Since it is your day off you want to sleep in. So you plop your child in front of the television with a bowl of cereal and the Saturday morning cartoons and you go back to bed. This scenario happens in countless...

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