Monday, July 27, 2009

Tots and TV: The Shocking and the Not-So-Shocking News

In the June 19th issue of The Week magazine, an article once again reported that "new" studies have found that there are detrimental effects for children under the age of 2 who watch a lot of TV. In not-so-shocking news, the article reported that when the TV is on, adults speak 500-1000 less words per hour to their children, which can impede their children's intellectual and emotional development. It doesn't matter whether the programming is adult or child-focused; either way, adults aren't speaking as much to children and this is why having the TV on can be detrimental to a child's development.

The shocking (to me at least!) news is that 30% of American parents admit to keeping their televisions on ALL DAY LONG, even if no one is watching the programming. This seems like a very high number to me!

So there you have it: your bit of shocking and not-so-shocking news for Monday :)


Juris Mater said...

Kat, thanks for cluing us into this interesting information. I believe the "shocking" part... many of our local friends have the TV on in the background all the time, they have the "on demand" feature so their 3 year olds are drunk on Thomas and J.J. all day every day. I actually have to work on my attitude... I never want to be in their homes, because the TV competes for all the other good things in the environment there (like good old fashioned playtime with visiting friends), and the TV usually wins. These are also the kids who play Wii with their parents all evening. May as well just rip out our brains and souls and replace them with electronic dumbing devices.

Of course, I'm all for a well-timed 30 minute show or video in the hard part of the afternoon or while I cook dinner. My kids love it because it's rare, and that makes for a wonderful break.

Mary Alice said...

I think what is really interesting about this news is that it is not the TV per se that is damaging but the lack of parental interaction when the TV is on.

Jim Trelease writes about how word exposure, both through speech and print, is crucial to kids becoming readers.