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Cutting TV for young children

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posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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 pre-schoolers.

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 an adult.

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."

This page 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

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 08:47 AM
Yes, my daughter got the TV bug when she was little. I had a very difficult time getting her away from it for a while. She is 11 yrs old now, and thankfully, she isn't as interested in TV anymore. She rarely has it on, and even when it is on, she usually has the sound turned down and she isn't paying any attention to it. Now I have the problem of keeping her off her ipod and laptop!
She does love to read, and she is very talented at drawing/art, so she spends time doing those things as well. I guess it could be worse...

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:05 AM
I'm baffled by what it is about TV these days for the kids. I used to think it was just our son with his special needs issues with the television but then I saw the same behavior in other kids. I swear it's a village people moment sometimes. He can't cross a room with a running television and not stop to become focused at least briefly on what is on the screen. It could be two wallaby's mating in Africa for all the content matters. It's the powered digital screen, it seems sometimes. Like a magnet... It's beyond odd and into the spooky realm when seeing more than one kid lost in a TV screen that doesn't even have anything they ought to be terribly interested in?

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

I think it's probably down to the fact most houses use the living room as a family congregational area, and set their living room up in such a way that the TV is the focal point of the room.
Not only this, but as technology is progressing and becoming cheaper, TV's of massive sizes are becoming more affordable, to the point where I don't think anyone could possibly try to ignore it.

And when you're knee high to a gopher, and there is a massive noisy moving colour box in the room, I don't think I'd want to stare at anything else!

posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:01 AM
We have a 3 year old and 5 year old and they both like to veg out in front of the tv after school for about an hour until dinner is ready. Most of the time while the tv is on, we are watching documentaries, but if my son (5) gets the remote, he turns it to infomercials.
I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but he sure can tell you everything about the Ab Lounge, Slushie Magic, and the Bullet Blender thing.

I think a little tv is ok. They have such short attention spans at this age that it is easy to redirect them to different activities and keep them busy. We have family game nights and if the weather is nice, then we go swimming or geocaching, or just riding bikes out on the deck. Plus, listen to them. Sometimes they have great ideas about fort building etc, and I know my kids love making up their own recipes and us baking it for them. Sometimes they are terrible, but sometimes they turn out pretty good.


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