My parents came round earlier this week, since they wanted to see my son who has been off school cuz he's been ill.
My dad happened to mention this article
by the Beeb about how childrens
television could be addictive to children under the years of three.
Though there has been no conclusive evidence so far, and further research is needed France have already banned childrens television shows aimed at
The article says that there are concerns that long term viewing while young could produce a dopamine effect, paving the way for long term viewing as
Dr Sigman believes that the way to retain a child's interest is known by those making programmes for children. "Certainly, programme makers know
this although they don't know the name dopamine," he says. "But they know that the more edits you put into a cartoon or a programme the more likely
it is to keep a child's interest up to a certain point. "Providing a child with a lot of novelty may produce higher levels of dopamine in a child's
brain, making the child seek more and more screen time to satisfy their need for more dopamine. "This is speculation at the moment but there are very
good reasons to think that this speculation is correct."
has documented various articles on the study of TV and children with ADHD, some of
which state that quicker editing can lead to shorter attention spans.
Over-all this whole experience has spoken to me, because my son, now 4 is turning into a TV junkie; and I don't like it one bit!
He will watch it for a little bit before school, and after school until dinner time; he has a plethora of other things available to him, creative
things, cars, legos, books (he's learning to read right now and he loves it); but he always wants to go back to watching TV, and he will kick off
when we don't want the TV on.
Not only this, but naturally with whole channels devoted to childrens television now, the adverts are aimed at children of his age group, bright toys,
silly voices, and it doesn't matter what it is, my son wants it. Even if he doesn't know what IT is. During every commercial, "I want that!" so I
ask him, "What is it?" and he usually doesn't know.
Childrens tv is turning our kids into potentially hyperactive, difficult and greedy consumers.
I'm definitely making changes to my sons viewing habits now, he's already a bright kid, but his constant need for input is exhausting. I'm not one
of those parents who sits their kids down in front of the TV and leaves them for hours, I actually detest that kind of parenting. I'm not saying I'm
a perfect parent. This has really opened my eyes and made me think about how this has snuck up on me.
I don't like the way he gets so stressed when the TV isn't on. It's time he was unplugged for a bit, and learnt to function as a real boy should.
Just a shame that other kids his age function on the same diet of bright colours and manic shows.
People wonder why they can't communicate with their kids anymore, and it's because some parents don't engage their children, or use the TV as a
replacement parent and teacher.
I'm going to think further on the viewing habits in this house, I hope this has helped you consider a few things too