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Television As A Babysitter Essay

1536 words - 7 pages

The Impact of Caregivers Using Television as a Babysitter

Composition and Communication II Comm/156
August 19, 2012

The Impact of Caregivers Using Television as a Babysitter

Caregivers using television as a babysitter adversely impacts the growth and development, physical fitness, and social life of children. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) stated, on average a child in America watches three to four hours of television a day (AACAP, 2011). This happens in most households because caregivers tend to have children watch television to be occupied. The problem with this is children are not getting the ...view middle of the document..., 2012). With Internet, smart phones, and radio, available, television is one of the most influential mediums used today. Supervision is the key to getting the most positive influences from television.
Television is a good form of entertainment and can be used for positive influences. For example, pre-school age children to learn about sharing, good manners and the alphabet. Grade school children could see and learn things about nature they otherwise couldn’t see, such as animals in Africa or the rain forest. Using documentaries for high school children to see political views from the past or learning about global issues would be beneficial as well. Television also introduces positive role models to follow. There is a wide variety of educational and entertaining things on television. The problem with television is it is so influential among children and can have negative effects on children as well.
Children learn by seeing what others are doing on television and then imitating what they see in real life situations. Things children see on television affect the person they are to become as they get older; including their values and behavior. Children who watch violent cartoons more on a regular basis behave aggressively. (Hattemer, 1994). Some children may have difficulty comprehending the difference between fiction and reality. The website of states that “Television teaches children the wrong things about violence. Adults know that real violence causes pain and sadness. But TV violence is often painless and sometimes funny” (, 2012). Seeing a cartoon with their favorite hero fighting and making it seem acceptable and with no consequences encourages a child to fight and have no consequences for the wrong behavior. A child needs to learn the skills that allow them to socially interact with others in an acceptable manner, such as sharing, taking turns and helping. Using television as a babysitter with unsupervised programming, pass the recommended viewing hours will cause physical and social life issues.
Numerous studies have shown that not getting enough exercise because children are sitting in front of a television can cause a child to become obese, have bad sleeping habits, and produce lower grades in school. Extended hours of viewing television will not give the children the time to get in the recommended amount of daily exercise to obtain a healthy weight. During the viewing of extended hours of television children are subjected to an alarming amount of commercials promoting unhealthy eating habits with sugary and unhealthy food. According to Chemin (2009) “Commercials for candy, snacks and fast food account for more than half of all food ads targeted to children and teenagers, and commercials for fruits and vegetables are virtually nonexistent ” (p. 30). Sitting children in front of the television with an unhealthy snack can add to the obesity factor as well....

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