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Manage your Toddler’s TV Viewing

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 11-01-2007

Toddlers, with their high levels of curiosity and interest in any event that takes place around them—small or big—find themselves hypnotically attracted to television. Television offers them what they are always game for—lots of action, loud music, eye popping visuals, and all sorts of funny sounds.

While all this certainly helps captivate the toddlers’ attention and conveniently keeps them quietly glued to the television, research says watching excessive television is not quite good for toddlers.

Always remember that you are developing the habits that likely will stay with the child through their life. Some of the major negative effects of television on toddlers are:

  • Development of unsocial behavior: Children regularly glued to the television interact less with other people and their immediate surroundings. These children also take to being passively involved in their world. Consequently, such children grow up to be rather unsocial with poor social abilities.

  • Tendency to become couch potatoes: Children addicted to watching television hardly move or play around much, because of which they tend to become couch potatoes rather than active kids.

  • Slow mental development: Excessive television watching does not allow for desirable levels of mental activity and as a result can retard the mental growth of children.

  • Development of unhealthy behavior: Television broadcasts a variety of programs, many of which depict unwholesome behaviors such as acts of violence and aggression. Such depictions tend to encourage unhealthy behaviors in the children watching such programs .
Here are some tips on how to reduce the negative effects of television on toddlers:

  1. Be selective: Carefully choose the programs watched by toddlers to keep the undesirable shows out of view.

  2. Manage television time: Set a time limit for watching television so that the toddlers have enough time for other healthy activities such as socializing with other toddlers, playing, reading, and more.

  3. Avoid adult content: Discourage viewing of violent, aggressive, frightening, and other undesirable content.

  4. Be discriminate: Encourage viewing of educational, humorous and interactive programs—this will promote high and balanced mental development.

  5. Watch as a family: Watch television together with toddlers to help them get the best of what it has to offer, and to also make sure you know what’s in the programs that are advertised as being “good for them.”