What Are the Causes and Effects of Television on Young Children?

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Technology has radically changed the 21st-century society. The modifications have affected all the spheres of life that are, social, economic and political. In spite of the vast amount of technological devices, television is the most popular as it encompasses all the three domains of life. The popularity of television can be attributed to its ease of accessibility as well as the vast amount of information they are capable of providing. In a home setting, studies have found out that a good proportion of American families own at least one set of television which means that it is the primary source of information and entertainment for the whole family including children. Given its popularity, most people have developed the perception that TV is a necessity for children as it helps them master language and develops some independence. Most scholars have rejected such a notion as misleading thus creating a debate of whether TV has a beneficial or detrimental effect on young children. This essay examines the major causes and effects of television on young children.

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The outcomes of television on kids which are often in the form aggressive behavior, poor academic performance, and health issues arise from the impact of TV on a childs development i.e. mental, emotional and physical. Most American children are exposed to television as toddlers; this can either be intentional where caregivers let the kids watch programs or unintentional where the TV is in the background. Since toddlers i.e. babies under the age of three perceptions of TV is different from that of older kids and adults, any form of exposure to television has detrimental effects on their development. Given that toddlers are social learners, they tend to internalize more information that they get from direct interaction with people within their environment compared to that provided by TV. In such a situation TV is becoming a destruction that impedes learning rather than of an instrument of promoting learning. Therefore, television hinders positive socialization, language and cognitive development whose outcome are reduced ability to socialize which means reduced play time that can lead to obesity and attention deficit.

Behavioral problems among children above the age of three have often been associated violent content and long hours that the kids spend watching. Huesmann, Moise-Titus, and Eron explain that most children acquire aggressive behaviors from what they watch on television. For example, watching extremely violent content, make some kids lose empathy while others develop constant fear about their environment. Such children develop various forms aggression which might seem reasonable to those who have lost empathy and as a form of self-defense for the fearful ones. Studies have also linked the amount devoted to watching with the intensity of the effect. For instance, the effects of television on children's is more profound to those who spend more time watching compared to those who only watch for a limited time.

In conclusion, caregivers must understand the causes and effects of TV to Children of all ages to enable them to regulate them accordingly. As much as some parents might opt to eliminate television altogether, it might not be a smart move because there are some ways in which children can benefit from the various programs. Therefore, having proper knowledge concerning age, content and timing is the only option that caregivers can utilize to allow children to take advantage of the experience provided by TV and eliminate any possible detrimental consequences.

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