TV and Your Child
Column by Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 2 should not watch any TV or videos. Children at this age need to be interacting with people and materials, rather than sitting passively watching TV. Children over 2 should also be engaged in play activities with adults and other children, but may watch a limited amount of TV. Choose educational programs for your child, such as “Sesame Street” or “Dora the Explorer,” and age-appropriate videos.
Children who watch too much TV tend to do worse in school, be more overweight, and learn behaviors from television. Entertainment violence can negatively affect behavior, according to T.R.U.C.E., Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment.
Try this, as recommended by T.R.U.C.E:
• Watch TV together with your child and have a conversation about the show. Ask what your keiki thought about the show and what was pretend and what was real.
• Children under 6 cannot tell the difference between the show and advertisements. Let your child know that ads are selling things, so they usually look more attractive on TV than in real life.
• Find other things to do besides watching TV: read to your child, play board games, color or paint, sings songs or listen to music, do puzzles.
• Avoid buying the unhealthy foods that are advertised on TV.
Remember: Too much TV can be harmful to your preschooler. Limit the amount of TV your keiki watches, and have conversations about the shows.
For more information, go to truceteachers.org.