Max was a normal three year old who watched popular TV shows like Thomas the Tank Engine, Phineas and Ferb etc. His parents, oblivious to what was to come, allowed him to watch TV as much as he wanted, sometimes 5 hours in a day. But gradually, Max’s nursery teachers noticed something that was not right with the toddler. While in school, he spent least amount of time playing with other kids. He did not participate in any group activities, did not run around happily like other kids, but remained isolated and wandered lost in his own world. If spoken to all he muttered were phrases from the show Thomas the Tank Engine like ‘I am full, I am full’ or ‘I want to be a useful engine.’
Doctors finally found out that Max was trapped in the world of television and the toddler had permanently damaged his early learning and language abilities.
This is not a made up story, but a real life incident that send a shock wave in the US recently. What is more alarming is that Max’s case is not unique.
Doctors say that all kids who watch television for more than two hours a day become,
- Increasingly inactive,
- Have learning disabilities,
- Lack social interaction skills and
- Become dangerously obese at a tender age, not utilising that time to play.
For modern parents, TV is the baby sitter they do not have to pay for.
Even one and two year olds who can barely sit or talk, are provoked to sit in front of the idiot box giving their parents the time to carry on their work without having to hear constant cries and complains. children/”>Some parents even get specialised educational DVDs that boast of creating geniuses sitting at home. Nursery rhymes, alphabets, numbers, words, puzzle all packed into one genius making compact disc.
The core truth is, these special CDs, DVDs and unregulated television watching can do more harm than good to your child. It has been proven through numerous research in different countries that the genius maker CDs held in such high esteem by parents is just another way of withdrawing money. They do not in any way increase vobulary or intellect of your child.
You may argue that your two year old is already counting numbers at his age, but doctors in UK say that this is only a temporary phase of repetition of words. If a child does learn new words, those are due to his observation of his sibling, parents and family around him and how they are using the language or the numbers not due to the ‘educational DVD’
TV addiction is bad at all ages but for children it is simply disastrous
You may not realise it but growing children are learning a lot while playing with other kids. There was a time not so long ago when evenings meant coming straight home after school and rushing out to play with the gang of friends waiting outside the door. The definition of fun was not video games and television shows but cricket, hopscotch, football, chor police chase, hide and seek, cycling and hours of getting dirty with the neighbourhood gang.
- Increased stamina and physical fitness
- Increased social interaction skills
- Increased general awareness
- Increased language learning
- Increased concentration levels
As against this, what is TVgiving these growing children? The following,
- Eyesight problem
- Lack of social interaction
- Lack of bonding time with family
- Poorly developed intelligence
What you learn as a child shapes your life as an adult
Look at your child glued to the television, computer game or Xbox and imagine his future for a moment.
- Will he be able to take any kind of physical strain?
- Will he be an early victim of obesity, cardiovascular problems, High BP and diabetes?
- Will he need to wear glasses even before he is a teen?
- Will he be able to face the challenge of living in a society?
The answers you give today and the choices you make thereby are what is going to decide your child’s future. All TV and no play will not only make Jack a dull boy but also an unhealthy, unfit and an isolated adult.
Image Credit woodleywonderworks via cc/Flickr