T.V. kids

Yet another study has confirmed the growing consensus that toddlers watching T.V. is not a good idea.  A Time.com blog post cites the following information from the study:

The results, the study authors say, were striking. Based on their analysis, each additional hour of TV that children watched at 29 months corresponded with a 7% decrease in classroom engagement, a 6% drop in math achievement, a 13% decrease in physical activity on weekends, a 10% increase in video-game playing and a 10% greater likelihood of getting teased, assaulted or insulted by classmates. The authors say the findings underscore the importance of limiting TV-viewing during the toddler years, which are a critical time for development.

On average, the study found, children were watching nearly 9 hours of TV per week at 29 months, and nearly 15 hours per week by 53 months. (Children with more educated mothers watched less; those from single-parent homes watched more.) The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under 2 watch no TV at all; children older than 2 should get no more than 1 to 2 hours of “quality programming” each day. Although the TV-watching habits of children in the current study were within or close to the limits set by the AAP, the data suggest the children still suffered negative consequences.

A comment on this posting seems to represent a common response; the comment notes, “As a father of a 3 year old who is obsessed with Dora, I can tell when enough is enough. Some days she gets no TV, other days, she may get 1 or two Doras. Otherwise – it’s outside with the dogs or we play a game.”  But this father seems not to recognize from his rather self-satisfied belief in his parenting skills (which, I am sure are indeed excellent) that not all children are in a position to go outside to a nice yard to play with the family pet nor all parents able to spend an idyllic afternoon playing games with the little one.

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