For Your Family
Children and TV
November 19, 2007 -- Today, parents are bombarded with conflicting messages -- either TV is bad for kids or it can actually help them learn. Now, a new book says it may not be just TV itself, but how the children are watching that's affecting their behavior.
It's the question that's been asked and answered many times over -- is TV ruining a young child's brain? The American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV for kids under two. Producers of children's programming argue it can be educational. Parents, in the meantime, are left a bit confused.
Lisa Guernsey, a parent herself, spent the last two years researching children and television for her new book, "Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age Five." She says the bottom line lies somewhere in the middle. That in short viewings, TV should be OK as long as the content is appropriate. But what's missing from the discussion, she suggests, is the context -- how TV is viewed at home?
"It turns out there's a lot of research that shows background tv has negative impacts on kids," said Guernsey.
Yes, background TV. Guernsey says when TV is just on in the house, even when the kids are not watching, it can change the way they play, even toddlers.
"They shorten their play time with a particular toy go from one toy to another to another if say Jeopardy was on," said Guernsey.
Smarter approach to kids and TV:
Guernsey says the smarter way to approach TV and kids is the three C's -- content, context, and your child. For content, research shows, a good program should have a linear story line, move at a slow pace and invite interaction. For context, her advice is focused TV-watching, maybe 30 minutes a day, and no background TV. And make sure your day includes plenty of quality time with your child one on one.
for your family
- Officer, man shot in Arlington Heights standoff
- Brutal cold grips continues; more snow coming
- Mother charged in death of 7-month-old baby
- ABC7 Weather Forecast
- Man charged after boy allegedly brings gun to Elgin school
- Gun violence victims remembered at Roseland vigil
- Block 37 developers indicted on federal fraud charges
- Mariano's holds job fairs this week in city, suburbs
- Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration wraps up in Des Plaines
- Feds crack down on unsafe buses
- No retrial for alleged CPD torture victim Wrice
- Rally held to support CTA program that helps ex-convicts
- Mom charged after YouTube postings of alphabet lesson
- abcnews: More Teens Sought in Mansion Party