A recent article by The New York Times, titled “Parents Urged Again to Limit TV for Youngest,” reminded parents of infants and toddlers to limit the time their children spend in front of the TV, computers, and self-described educational games, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
While the topic of the effects of media exposure on children may be old, pediatric experts continue to educate the public on new guidelines, especially in this highly-digital dominated time.
According to the AAP, video screen time provides no educational benefits for children under age 2 and leaves less room for activities that do, such as interacting with others and playing. So far, there is no evidence that exposure to these mediums causes long-term developmental problems, experts said. Still, research shows that young children learn more from real interactions than from situations appearing on video screens. Some learning can take place from media, but it’s a lot lower, the article said.
Recently in a separate AAP study, where over 200 middle school students were surveyed, the results showed a direct link in the viewing of media with high profanity and subsequent aggression. Moreover, the findings provided continued support for ratings and content warnings surrounding profanity use in the media.
Check out the following tips on media exposure, from the experts at CHOC:
• Encourage alternative activities for entertainment for children (reading, drawing, outdoor games).
• Decrease the dependence on television as a babysitter.
• Identify normal media habits for your family (hours, usage and monitoring).
• Praise children for making good viewing decisions.
• Discuss non-violent problem solving techniques (talking, walking away).
• Limit using TV or other electronic gadgets as a reward for good behavior. Instead, try a trip to the park, or a visit to a friend’s house.
• Be a good example to your child by not watching too much TV, or over-using your cell phone and computer. Be involved in other activities, such as reading or walking. Read to your kids.