As anyone who is raising toddlers knows, they are a curious, rambunctious crowd that are hard to please. There will be days when all you want is for your child to sit still and be quiet, and sometimes having the television babysit your toddler, so to speak, is the easiest way. But before you set your kid in front of the tube to enjoy the latest Disney or Nickelodeon show, think about the possible consequences. There are several reasons why I don't let my kids spend too much time on the television. Here are a few.
As mentioned in a previous just4families article , the media is a powerful force, and it's all fueled by advertisements. Exposing children to advertisements early in life will get them hooked to the consumerist culture that is bent on addicting everyone to products, whether good ones or bad. The images portrayed of unnaturally perfect models selling products like makeup or even alcohol will have an indelible effect on young, highly suggestible minds.
2. Attention Span Loss
Watching television is a very passive activity, both physically and mentally. You don't have to do much except consume whatever is in front of you. Toddlers are naturally curious and active, simply because those early years are a stage of rapid development. So setting them in front of a television for hours at a time will only stunt their mental growth and repress this instinctual curiosity.
3. Lack of physical activity
Remember--the habits instilled during those critical years between 2 and 5 will last a lifetime. If your child isn't regularly active early on, it will be much more difficult to change an acquired laziness later in life. Both nutrition and physical activity are extremely important for a toddler, and getting your child hooked to the television set only discourages exercise.
These are only a few reasons why I try my best as a parent to limit my toddler's time spent in front of the television. Of course, watching television isn't necessarily an evil pastime if done in moderation, and there do exist programs that can very well benefit your child. Still, if you want your child to engage in another quiet activity that doesn't require your constant attention, it's best to encourage your toddler to pursue other forms of entertainment. Things like picture books or puzzles are a great way to engage your toddler's curiosity and critical thinking skills while giving you some much-needed time off.