Why you should avoid TV before Age 2+

Why you should avoid TV before Age 2+
August 18 08:20 2016

Parents are sometimes stunned when I inform them that pediatricians feel it is a bad notion for kids to watch TV before two years of age. Studies reveal that about 40% of newborns are watching some variety of video at age 5 months, and around age 2, the number increases to 90%.

Early brain development

To answer these queries, we have to go back briefly to the development of a child’s brain. The brain of a Kid grows overwhelmingly in the first three years of his/her life, with the brain increasing in mass during the first one year. The stimuli kids experience in this period extremely influence their brain development. Pictures on screens act in ways that are different from the ones in reality. Because we are all steeped in the graphical language of screens, it is easy to fail to recall those differences pending when we think about them.

Visualize a ball in reality and a ball on the TV. Infants develop 3-dimensional visualization. The world of tv exists in 2 dimensions, therefore the ball is just a shaded flat circle. If you move a ball across the floor and it moves in a single motion, gradually slowing until it halts. It is not the same on TV—you see a ball leave somebody’s hand, then there is a shot of it moving, then an image of the ball not moving. If your toddler wants to take hold of a ball in real life he will grasp at it, crawl after it or lunge for it. Infants might stare at the motion and colors on a screen, however, their brains isn’t capable of making meaning or sense out of all those weird images. It takes two years for a kid’s brain to mature to the point where symbols on a tv set come to symbolize their counterparts in reality.

Due to this misunderstanding, children close to age 3 study better from the physical world than they do from screen, particularly when it’s got to do with language. They seem to learn more if they are watching in the presence of someone who’s talking to them about what it is they are seeing, just like you would while reading a picture book story to them.

Where’s the harm?

So sure, toddlers and babies do not acquire any knowledge from watching TV, but if they like it, where is the harm? If a TV screen is all it takes to get lunch on the tabletop, is it not better than starving? Yes, watching a TV screen is better than having nothing to eat, but it is worse than not watching a TV. There’s evidence which suggests that screen viewing before 2  years of age has a long-term negative effect on the reading skills, language development  and short term memory of children. It also adds to complications with attention and sleep. If “you’re what you eat,” then the brain should be what it experiences, so therefore, video amusement will be like mental junk nourishment for toddlers and babies.

The problem is not only with what toddlers do while watching TV; it is what they are not doing. Precisely, children are set to learn from interrelating with people. The disco of facial expressions, the tone of a person’s voice. The body language amid a parent and toddler is not just beautiful, it is so intricate that researchers needed to record these relations on video and slow the footage just to capture everything that is happening. A toddler acquires lots of knowledge from banging pans on the ground while you prepare dinner than he does from viewing a screen for the same period, because at every opportunity the two steal a glance at each other.

Having the TV set on even if “nobody is viewing it,” can delay language progress. Usually, parents say about 940 words hourly when an infant is around. With the TV set on, that number decreases by 770! Fewer words mean less learning. Toddlers also learn to pay attention for lengthy periods.

Toddlers who watch TV are likely to have difficulties concentrating at age 7. Video programs are constantly changing, continually interesting, and never forces a kid to deal with more tedious things than an infomercial.

After age two things change somehow. During preschool years, most kids learn skills from educational TV. Well planned shows can impart knowledge on kids such as math, literacy, problem-solving, science and pro-social behavior. Kids develop more from interactive shows such as Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer when they respond to the questions of the characters. Educational TV programs are the biggest transformation for youngsters whose homes are the least stimulating academically.

What you can do

Indeed, children absorb more when watching the TV with a parent than alone. The content of a TV program matters a lot. All programs teach kids about something, however, stick with the ones that’re intended to teach youngsters stuff they ought to actually know.


Irrespective of the content, cap your kid’s TV time at two hours daily. Bear in mind that a TV is still a TV, it doesn’t matter if you watch it on a mobile phone, on a TV screen or or computer.


Why you should Avoid TV Before Age 2


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