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Harmful Effects Of TV and Computer Games On Your Kids
Over the years, many have debated the effects of letting your children watch television or play computer games for prolonged hours. Some will argue that many TV programs or computer games today are quite educational and are indeed very helpful for the young minds. Surfing through TV channels, you can immediately find programs that aim to provide learning such as Science or History Channels. There are also educational computer games like Scrabble, Chess, word related games, analytical games, puzzles and many more. However, experts will tell you that watching TV and allowing your child to play computer games has harmful effects on young children’s brains.
You might say that watching TV or playing video games is okay as long as a guardian is around to monitor the type of games kids play or the TV shows they watch. Needless to say, exposing young children to video games and television programs that feature sex and violence can have a major impact on their development. Children can adapt what they watch on TV or see in video games and can even normalize harmful behavior if that is what they regularly see in their games and TV shows. For example, the popular cartoons of Tom and Jerry can be quite funny, however, experts and parents alike were worried by the violence shown by the two characters. Tom hits on Jerry, Jerry fights back and people who watch this show can definitely laugh at their attempts to murder each other. Many video games also show harmful behavior such as sword fighting, armed combat and shooting. Children who watch TV shows or play video games like these may think that hitting others is normal and in fact is okay because people find it fun or entertaining to watch. So, just don’t let your kids watch violent programs or play violent games, right?
Child psychologists can tell you that it’s not just the type of shows or video games you expose your children to that affects their brains negatively. It’s the fact that they watch TV or play video games at all. Letting young children from 2 years to middle school age watch TV or video games can hinder their brain development. At the young age of 1 to 2 years, brain training takes place and young minds have to take in many things around them. This time of a child’s life is crucial because this is the point when skills, preferences, personality, reasoning and creativity are formed. This is the time when their young minds are developing and playing video games or watching TV can negatively affect how their brains will grow. When a child is at this age, he or she should engage in various activities such as exploring, reading, running around, interacting with people, imaginative play, creating and building, etc.
Consider the following studies conducted on the effects of television and video games on children:
• At this young age, reading will open the imagination and allow the brain to visualize situations and objects. Allowing the child to watch television for more than 2 hours a day or more can change and even hinder the development of the brain because there is no more left for imagination when everything is available visually on the television.
• Children should engage in all kinds of physical activities such as running, jumping, swimming, cycling etc. Studies have shown that children who watch more than 2 hours of television a day or those who play computer games all the time have a higher chances of becoming obese. Children who enjoy outdoor activities become physically fit and are generally healthier.
• Children who spend most of their time outside playing develop better social skills that they can use as they grow up. Children who are used to playing computer games or watching TV from a young age tend to keep to themselves and become less sociable.
• Computer games are fun and very entertaining. However, children can become addicted to playing computer games. This addiction will prevent them from enjoying other activities and this will result in limiting their experiences as children
• When you allow young children to play computer games at a very young age, your child may begin to develop wrist injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Your child may suffer from this painful injury until he or she is older.
• Vision problems are common for children who learn early to play computer games or watch television for hours each day.
• Children who did not grow up watching television or playing computer games had more concentration, were less hyperactive and were more independent. They can sit still and read in a corner without the need for constant attention from their parents.
In conclusion, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under two years of age should have no television hours, and those over that age should have limited television viewing, preferably 1 to 2 hours per day only, totaling to a maximum of only 10 hours in each day. a week
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