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Is television as bad as everyone says?

We hear so many negative comments about the impact of television on children, however I am seeing that my daughter is picking up a lot of vocabulary and imaginative play through the programmes that she watches. She doesn't watch it all the time, but she is clearly picking up a variety of skills that I see as positive. Am i being too simplistic? I only ask as I feel that i am missing something.

Patrick Carroll expert
Patrick Carroll
Primary Teacher, ICT Coordinator
Armthorpe, GB

1 expert and 3 parents have answered

expert answer
Suzanne Freyjadis expert
Suzanne Freyjadis Consultant, Education Technology Austin, US
Technology expert

No, you are using moderation, which makes you fabulous!

Lots of quite bright people put lots of time into the creation of many of the programs currently available for children so that parents can find something that fits their own standards as well as interests their child and helps them understand something about how the world works or learn new words.

I think that with anything in regards to children moderation should always be the goal. Too many carrots will turn a person orange, but in moderation provide lots of good vitamins and minerals. It's the same with television. Too much turns people of any age into boring lumps, but some can really touch on new and interesting ideas about the world or just provide some much needed pleasure.

Your daughter is lucky to have such a thoughtful mum.

1 Reply Share:
Experience 3 years ago
Holly Seddon admin
Holly Seddon Editor-in-chief of Quib.ly Kent, UK

I'm with you and Suzanne, it's all about enriching experiences and moderation. A lot of the children's TV produced by the BBC, for example, is created with advice and best practise from speech and child development experts. All TV isn't created equal! And even some of the cartoons on channels like Cartoon Network have a lot more to them than just explosions and flashing imagery.

I'd rather my kids learn about concepts like empathy from Adventure Time than ever watch a minute of X-Factor or - shudder - Celebrity Big Brother. And we don't do the Disney Channel.

When mine were little, they definitely practised some important skills like numeracy and vocabulary along with the characters on the screen. But, like you, this wasn't the only thing to which they were exposed. Alongside TV they had imaginative play, books (e and hardback), going out on adventures, counting with me, games and so on. It's all about balance, I think!

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Experience 3 years ago
Олег Кияшко
Олег Кияшко Don't mind my display name >.< Kyiv, Ukraine

I think that TV is very various, it just depends on channel. Earlier, at the times of VHF and UHF TV, it was extremely hard to find exactly what interests you most. Your TV set may catch only stuff that is airing at the local area, and the best quality is only the nearest station. When digital satellite TV came, it became even wider choice, usually one satellite may transmit over 20 channels (I have a friend who has satellite TV). No mass media is inherently bad for children - it's like saying that all playgrounds are beneficial for kids.

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Experience 3 years ago
Jenna Elizabeth Moffat
Jenna Elizabeth Moffat Jenna moffat student Edinburgh, GB

l think a limit time is ok. Breaks with activity's in between are good.

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Experience 2 months ago

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