Children's Television Programming

Why do Americans and television go together so well? We all love it, we obsess over it and we mold our lives to resemble what we see on TV. We all have our favorite stars, shows, movies and games. We all know that technology has come a long way, but it seems to me that the majority of this evolution has taken place in the "television" department. We've seen so many additions to television since the days of 2 stations in black and white.

But along with this television progessive evolution, our children are watching more and more telivision on a daily basis. Most children watch 2 hours of telivision per day until the age of 6. After 6 years of age, telivision consumption spikes to 4 hours in front of the TV PLUS an additional 2 hours of computer or video game usage.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.
So here's the thing. Kid's aren't supposed to watch TV but we know how convenient it is. Maybe I'm a horrible mother for doing it (or just admitting I do it) but my 1 year old really enjoys his TV time. We spend a lot of time cuddleing on the couch watching our shows. I'm sure he's unaware of the meaning behind what he sees, but he knows he likes it.

Not all television is bad either. There are a lot of great, educational shows directed at children. These shows and movies teach them skills with basic repetition and fun. For older children, it's also not a bad idea to let them see what is happening in the world. Watching (monitored) adult programming can expose children, in a positive way, to the real world. Teaching them social interactions that they can't learn in books. As with everything, it's all about the spin YOU decide to put on it!

My advice is to maintain a "healthy limit" of television time. No one, including adults, should be spending a majority of their time in front of the television. There are limitations, there are some days when we feel like being lazy couch potatoes. But we need to focus on getting our children away from the screens.


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