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Television and the media. TV is bad for children. We all seem to know this. Like eating our daily fruits and vegetables, or cutting our sugar intake. But why? Can’t kids just learn as much from TV as they do from books? The problem here is not what they watch, (be it good or bad) but it’s what the child is missing. Did you know that children who interact with parents rather than a TV show have faster learning abilities? In fact, while interacting with parents, the child encounters words they may not hear in every day speech, thereby improving their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge.

Parents who spoke to children had a higher- quality advance in communication. As opposed to TV, they could ask questions, interact, and listen while being explained. Children best learn from real people, people they love, and who are important to them, parent interaction promotes not only language development but also the fact that they are valued and important. In addition, the more time watching TV, the poorer they perform academically.

A study showed, that children who had TV in their bedrooms significantly scored lower on standardized tests, than those who don’t, and, these same kids who watched more than 6 hours a day were most likely to drop out of high school, and not go to college. TV numbs the minds of children, it considerably reduces expressive language skills, and wastes time not being intellectually challenged, thinking analytically, not using the imagination, and not interacting, showing poorer reading skills in school. Shows made specifically for babies to be smarter, like ‘My Baby Einstein’, in fact were proven to delay the educational toddler’s development.

Later on, they showed the disability to retain fewer skills and information and shorter attention spans, indeed, kids who watch educational shows, proved to have about 10% higher chances of attention problems at school, and entertainment programs had an effect of 60%, not enough? The possibility of attention risk at school later on for shows with a bit of violence was of a 110% the sad thing is that about 61% of programs shown have just enough violence in them to fulfill that need. Speaking of which, violence in television leads to an aggressive behavior.

Youngsters become less sensitive to terror, accept violence as a way to resolve problems, or even imitate the hostility they’ve seen. Did you know that a typical child who watches about two hours a day, will see about 8,000 small screen murders by the time he reaches high school? And by age twelve, will have witnessed as many as 12,000 deaths on TV. The bad thing about this is that, about 75% of these scenes have no immediate punishment, teaching the kid that, such behavior is acceptable. And let’s all admit it. The good guy will always beat the bad guy in fights, and end up rewarded for it.

The moral in the story is…? Watching such shows can lead to hostility, anxiety, depression, nightmares, sleep disturbances, and post traumatic stress disorders. Matter of fact, research has shown a link between total screen time and retinal artery width in children. The more you watch TV, the narrower the artery in the eyes, which indicates heart risk. The more TV you watch the less likely you are to eat healthy and the most likely you are to eat fast food, and even skip breakfast. With so many commercials telling you what to eat is extremely hard not to make the wrong decision.

And let’s not blame our metabolic rate, which heartbreakingly slows down by not doing any more exercise that flipping through channels, which increases by great deal obesity in kids. Not only does TV affects our health, but have you come to think of say, sixteen and pregnant? TV encourages kids to commit sexual behavior, and does not describe the negative outcomes such as unwanted pregnancies, sexual transmitted diseases, and the thought of sex as a casual thing. Since, it portrays violence, alcohol, drugs and use of sex in a positive light. A kid watching such shows, wants to perform such actions, mainly to fit in. nd one of the reasons why children nowadays have such low self-confidence is because of commercials. With so many out there telling you to either buy the product or you will never be someone, is hard to have a personality of your own. Models with flawless skin, not an inch of natural beauty, and weighting less than a pound each, makes you feel imperfect, and if you do see someone, that weights say more than average, or dresses in a different way, then it is stereotyped and believed to be different. As if different is a bad thing, a horrendous thing in actually.

At the end, TV is just bad. It dramatically takes time from parent-child interaction, needed to develop critical skills, it results in poorer academic performance, leads to violence, has the health at risk and tendency of being overweight, leads to negative behaviors such as drugs and sexual practice, and slaughters self-confidence, and any belief of natural beauty. Would you put your kid in danger for reasons such as not having enough time to think of a better solution for them to do? Is it really worth it? Think about it. You can be a good parent. Do not let the media ruin that for you.

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