How too much Television makes Kids Dull

Published On  December 22, 2014 By

Studies are showing that, the greater the number of hours of TV watched, the lower is the child’s academic performance. So what can you do if you child is watching too much TV?

In the 1980s, Australian researchers found that while watching television, the right brain is busy storing information and images in its memory bank and the left side that is responsible for critical analysis goes into a stupor because of the constant flicker of the television.  Another study conducted in Japan at the Tohuku University in Sendai recently found that children who spent the most hours on television had the greatest amount of gray matter around the fronto-polar cortex – that means lower verbal intelligence.

Effects of TV viewing :

  1. Studies are showing that, the greater the number of hours of TV watched, the lower is the child’s academic performance.
  2. Excessive television watching directly impacts reading abilities.
  3. Brain goes into hypnotic state while watching TV.
  4. The lethargy of the brain continues even after the TV has been switched off making concentration difficult even when the TV is not on anymore.
  5. The brain’s pre-frontal cortex does not develop optimally. This part of the brain is responsible for planning, organizing and sequencing behaviour for self-control, moral judgment and attention.
  6. Television viewing leads to more aggressive behavior because of stunting the frontal lobes of the brain which are responsible for impulse control.
  7. Fast moving images actively engage the right brain, while the left brain is completely lethargic leading to diminished ability for logical and analytical thinking.
  8. Prolonged exposure to TV at a younger age and violent programs increase the probability of attention disorders later on.

Many of us are grappling with the challenge of keeping our children engaged and the TV is an easy Go-to option , just to get the kids off our back. Now that we have had a refresher on the ill effects of TV, what can we do differently?

  1. Set strict limits on TV watching time
  2. Do not install a TV in your child’s room
  3. Try a no TV weekend experiment!
  4. Come up with a family TV schedule
  5. Suggest Alternatives: Many times, we as parents are too caught up with other things to offer alternatives to our children. Take out those board games, read a book together, go for a walk, kick a ball, play scrabble or cards, checkers, chess.
  6. LEAD BY EXAMPLE . Children do as we do. Not as we speak. So, if you are watching too much television yourself, turn it off and pick up a book. Model better alternatives for your children.