Children between two and eleven years of age watch an average of 25 hours of television a week.(Children's Television) Which means that children spend more time watching television than in school. With that statistic it is no wonder why this is such a huge problem that this nation has to deal with.
There are many facts that show how children are affected by television. The most obvious is the effects that television has on the brain. 'Television interferes with the development of intelligence, thinking skill and imagination.';(LimiTv) A huge element of thinking is taking from what you already know and deciding how it applies in different situation. School makes you do this, but television does not. Michael and Sheila Cole, sociologist, say that 'Children socialized to learn from television had lower than normal expectations about the amount of mental effort required to learn from written texts, and tended to read less and perform relatively poorly in school.';(Development of Children 24) Which means that it takes very little effort to follow a television show and kids are raised on television believe that it takes less effort to learn from television rather than books because they have been 'spoon-fed'; information by television. 'Opportunities for a child's imagination to develop are also denied by habitual viewing.'; (Neural Activity and the Growth of the Brain) Children need some unstructured time to allow imagination skills to form by thinking about a book or story, a conversation, or an event.
'Television also conditions a child to dual stimui: sound and images.';(Neural Activity and the Growth of the Brain) The constant and rapidly changing sound and images can condition a child to expect the level of televisions in other situations. The problem with this is that in school children are called upon to speak, to listen, to work some problems, or read, and none of these tasks contain the 'dual stimula'; that children expect from television. Dr. Hinto...
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...-off fail because each parent has different opinions, sending mixed messages to the children. Confidently present the idea of a turn-off, giving all the reasons you think is worthwhile. Make straightforward deals 'If you'll do this, I'll do…). And even if you can't get outright participation, try for a show of solidarity in front of the children. Presenting the idea to pre-school children and toddlers does not require advance discussion. In most cases, all that is needed is a matter of fact statement that we will not be watching television this week. Also, getting company for you television turn-off is valuable. Support from friends and neighbors, as well as teachers and classmates can be a great help. A turn-off is more enjoyable if other families are involved. During this turn-off time you will find that your kids, as well as you have, a lot of more time on your hands. During this time that your children are not watching television there is many enjoyable activities that your children will find fun and that are educational as well, see appendix. These great ways to have fun with your children are a great alternative to television and your children will love these games also.
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