Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guest Post

Allison Morris is kind enough to write a guest post for me.

 As much as I am concerned about what my grand children are exposed to on the television I am not able to keep up with what they watch on a daily basis as they live a couple of hours away from us. It is not just the kids I worry about today. Even us grown ups can be vulnerable to the ads on the t.v.


Television has long gotten a bad reputation for corrupting children with images of excessive violence and a barrage of advertisements. But an infographic posted recently by actually argues that changing the channel may be a better solution than turning the TV off entirely. In fact, appropriate shows aimed at a child's age group can actually help boost vocabulary, problem-solving skills, and reduce behavioral problems.

Still, it is undeniable that there are many negative impacts of children watching too much television. For example, in one year, the average child sees 20,000 commercials, with two-thirds of those featuring unhealthy foods. Consequently, for every hour of television a child watches, they are 18% more likely to eat candy and 16% more likely to eat fast food. In addition, by the time they reach 18, children have witnessed more than 16,000 murders on televisions. Statistics indicate that an extra hour of weeknight viewing increases the likelihood of criminal conviction by age 26 by 30%.

However, kids who watch educational programming actually tend to be better prepared to start school. They are also less aggressive than children who watch other shows. As they get older, those who watched Sesame Street, or other comparable programs, from ages 3 to 5 typically had higher GPAs, read more books, and placed more value on achievement. Boys were also found to remain less aggressive through high school and girls were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.

For more facts and figures about television habits among today's youth, check out the infographic.


Granny Annie said...

The food ads make us all get up from the couch and head for the kitchen.

My children were celebrated by their teachers for starting school with such wide and excellent vocabularies. I believe it came from PBS kid's programming but also from family language.

Shelly said...

This is such a relevant topic because what is classified as children's tv today wouldn't have even been suitable for adults 50 years ago. Thank you for sharing~

Launna said...

I do believe that children should be limited in the quantity of TV watched (my Valentina is only allowed to watch on the weekends. I also agree completely that the quality of what our children are watching on TV is much more important than quantity...

LL Cool Joe said...

I think everyone watches too much TV, it's such a time waster, and yes there are some educational programmes but none of my family seem to watch them. I don't watch tv at all.

Susie Swanson said...

Television is not like it once was.. But there are good educational shows for kids.. My son grew up watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers. I grew up watching The Waltons , etc. I hardly watch it anymore.. Great post..

klahanie said...

Hi Munir and Allison,

A most interesting perspective based on how television is in North America. To some degree, sadly, their are some similarities in Britain.

I would state, however, that the ad saturation on our screens and I would say, the better quality, more educational shows over here, balance things out somewhat.

If anything, over here, I believe there is more of a concern about the huge amount of time children can spend on video games. Although, there is debatable thoughts that those games stimulate the brain.

Thank you for an enlightening article.

With respect,


Ghadeer said...

These are worrying numbers. But I guess like just about any invention, it could be used for building or demolition!

Betsy Adams said...

As an old lady (70) now, I see such a difference in children today than I did when my sons were young. Scares me!!!! Parenting seems to have gone by the wayside --and kids are growing up without manners and discipline.

I blame some of it on TV --but I do think that there are alot of good TV shows out there --if parents are diligent about knowing what their kids are watching.

I guess much of the problem is society --and lack of strong family units today.

My grands are all teens now --and all are doing well (thank goodness). However, there are alot of kids out there who are NOT doing good. My heart goes out to them.

You are smart to keep up with your grandchildren --and what they are doing and what they are watching on TV.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

This makes me wonder - whatever happened to Saturday morning cartoons??

Cat said...

I think you've a point. I know my Mother only let me watch a small bit of TV, when my homework was finished, and she had to approve the shows (this was before VCRs and such, she either had seen the show before, or had enough knowledge of the program to know if it was "bad" for me.) I was an advanced reader in school, I spent much more time with my nose in a book than near the tube, and most of what I watched was on PBS. So. I think that it comes down to what the parents do and allow, as much as what is actually on the TV...


Matthew MacNish said...

Brand new follower here, just stopping by as an A to Z Challenge Co-Host, so: nice to meet you, Munir!

Nikki said...

Happy Easter :)

I agree with Gary. I think that children play video games more often now. On one hand it's educational - my boyfriend for example, is Swedish and used to play a lot when he was younger. His English really advanced because he was playing these English games so had to use it. My brother is 7 and obsessed with them, but they do help with reading. It's a difficult one. But I do think that it's important to be outside when you're young!