The amount of hours of television viewed per day directly correlates with scores children and students received. By the way, the correlation is definitely not positive. Students who watched more television on weekdays typically performed poorer on tests and daily work assignments. Most of the poor performance can be attributed to an inadequate amount of time spent on preparation and studying. (This is according to a recent news article posted on CNN, October 6.)
However, that may not be the only factor. By watching large amounts of television, students may be swayed into valuing television more than they value schoolwork, if they don’t already. The CNN article went on to mention the fact that television on the weekends did not produce quite as negative of effects as on school nights. However, performance did seem to depend on the amount of time spent viewing television overall.
Also, television also has several other negative effects. Depending on the content of the television show, which of course is generally damaging these days, the child may pick up immoral values and words that the parents or guardians certainly don’t want their child using. Children are often exposed to content that is much too mature for their eyes, and they receive a misrepresentation of reality. They will most likely begin to believe that what they see on TV is not only real, but that it is completely acceptable from all standpoints.
What kind of content is unacceptable for children? Fortunately, not every television program will impact children negatively. However, the majority of it will. A good conscience check is to ask yourself whether or not you would feel comfortable watching the program with your priest or pastor in the same room. If not, your child should definitely not be exposed to it either. (Nor should you)
I am not trying to say that all television is bad for your health, however, there are even more negative effects of over viewing that can potentially be quite damaging. According to another research document posted in November of 2005, on PSYCLYN.org (a psychological informative website) there are several other side-effects of watching excessive amounts of television.
One often mentioned side effect is that of the increased likelihood of childhood and adult obesity. This epidemic is by no means caused only by watching Television; however, eating and television viewing are often paired together as a downtime activity. The result is often dangerous and extremely unhealthy. Along with obesity, there are several health risks such as diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as inability to perform routine tasks and functions with minimal difficulty.
Also, children may find it difficult to distinguish what they see on TV from reality. As much as adults try to train their children not to believe everything they see, children’s minds are quite impressionable and ignorant of how the world really works.
Another harmful side effect of too much television is limited imagination. Children become too dependent on TV in order to have fun. Instead, they should be encouraged to use their natural God-given creativity and energy to explore the world around them. It is even noted that during the early stages of development, television can damage children’s language acquisition progress.
The last major side effect of too much television is a little disease teachers lovingly deal with every day. Attention Deficit Disorder, that’s right, ADD is often sparked by watching too much television. So, if you wonder why we are raising an ADD generation, know that there is a pretty direct correlation between the ADD and watching too much television.
You may think that television causes kids to concentrate right? I mean, they have to sit there and stare at the box and pay attention to it. Contrarily, they are being zoned in to a musical, brightly colored and flashy piece of equipment that causes them to lose track of everything else going on around them. They are unable to concentrate in a typical school setting. They are usually the only kids who can focus on movies and yet completely miss everything their teacher says. These are the kids who have been labeled “hyper-active” when really; their ability to focus and pay attention has most likely been hindered by that little box in the living room that they so often zone in on. Also, the said “hyper-activity” would be much more positively dealt with through healthy alternatives to television viewing, such as biking, running, playing sports, jump roping, skiing, sledding, the list goes on and on.