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How Too Much Television Can Harm A Child’s Development

1438 words - 6 pages

How Too Much Television Can Harm a Child’s Development
For the past 20 years, studies have linked excessive TV viewing to childhood obesity, poor brain development, lagging educational performance, sleep disturbances and diminished physical activity (Is Television Harmful For Children?, 2010). Children are very impressionable, so sitting in front of a television for long periods of time can have a negative outcome. While a child’s brain is being molded, they are more susceptible to act out learned behaviors from their favorite television shows. Parents have the responsibility to mold their child’s brain and not have it rot out from too much exposure to television. Children's ...view middle of the document...

Children are more likely to act out aggressively, such as hitting, arguing, and impatience after watching violent programs (White, 2001). Violence is not something children should see, so parents should take the necessary steps to make sure violent shows are blocked or avoided.
Children are innocent beings who have no concept of right or wrong when it comes to what they view on television. When they watch television shows that show drug use, alcohol consumption, and sexual acts, these become appealing to them. If they see their favorite characters doing drugs and drinking, they become interested in these things because they are made to look cool. This is similar to peer-pressure because they feel the need to be just like their favorite characters or else they are lame. Although tobacco advertisements have been banned from television, commercials for alcohol have increased over the last few years, allowing more exposure to underage children (How TV Affects Your Child, 2011). When children watch commercials like this, they think the product is for them. They want to try it out because the ad is enticing. Sex is also something portrayed to look like fun on television. More children’s shows have kissing or other intimate acts in them. Children don’t know that there are emotions and consequences involved with sex. All they see are two people engaged in something making either person very happy, so they think it is all about pleasure. Children don’t comprehend that there could be consequences to the action, like STD’s or pregnancy. “Studies have shown that teens who watch lots of sexual content on TV are more likely to initiate intercourse or participate in other sexual activities earlier than peers who don’t watch sexually explicit shows.” (How TV Affects Your Child, 2011) Children aren’t mature enough to witness these mature actions. They don’t even understand what love really is when they are young. Parents should monitor the ratings on the shows their children are watching to eliminate them from viewing these adult actions. Exposing children to these things too much, too early can only lead to worse things.
Family meals used to be a sacred thing in households; everyone sits at the table, maybe says a blessing and then no one gets up from the table until excused. Nowadays, eating meals in front of the television is a normal, everyday occurrence. TV dinners are popular because they are quick and easy, however, they encourage television viewing while eating. When children get used to eating in front of the television, they tend to become inactive. Food also can be linked to the television, so that every time a child watches a show, they feel they need to snack. Snacking is fine while watching television as long as it’s healthy and in moderation. Children eat more often while watching TV than while doing other sedentary activities, such as using the computer or playing video games (Shea, Harvey-Berino, & Johnson, 2010). Meals should be eaten at a...

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