Study: Monitoring TV Content for Kids Can Be Beneficial to Their Development
Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on February 18, 2013 @ 5:35PM
Created on February 18, 2013 @ 5:30PM
Kids ages 3 to 5 in the U.S. are averaging about 4.5 hours of TV time everyday. Many of those hours are spent watching shows that aren't age appropriate.
Now, new studies suggest that if you turn your TV from those shows to more educational ones, your kids behavior can improve. After six months, reports found the toddlers were less aggressive and more likely to show empathy and help others.
"Just try to open lines of communication, that yeah, TV can be used as a good tool, an educational tool, but also use some common sense and watch what they're watching and keep up to date with what they're watching as well," said pediatrician Dr. Mary-Ann Kroll.
Day care centers around the area try limit TV time as well. Workers at the Imagination Station Day Care Center try to focus TV time on educational programs, and make it fun for the kids.
"We don't have cable here, so anything we watch is theme related so, if we're learning about dolphins, then we'll bring in a movie about dolphins or something. We try to make everything educational. You're not going to take the TV away from the kids, but you can have control over how much they actually watch," said Crystal Towns, owner and director of Imagination Station Day Care Center.
The study didn't find any connection between the amount of time kids spent in front of the TV and their behavior. However, doctors said it's still as important to limit your kids television watching as it is to monitor their content.
"I think both is important. Definitely know what they're watching, keeping up to date, making sure it can be used as an educational tool, and also not all they're doing is watching TV," said Dr. Kroll.
While it may be easier to have your kids watch TV when you're busy, especially when they're stuck inside during the winter, it's still important to get them up off the couch and moving.
"Just try to monitor it the best you can. It doesn't always work, they're going to throw a fit, they're going to watch it, but for the most part, get them up, get them moving and out of the house," said Towns.
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