Almost half of kids spend at least two hours a day watching TV. While this may sound harmless enough, numerous studies have come out showing that TV is definitely taking its toll on American children.
UPDATE: When I first posted this (8 years ago in 2010) TV still mattered. Now the cell phone is the mind-sucking device that plagues parents. This article is still valid, though.
For instance, a study in the April 2004 journal Pediatrics found that every added hour of watching TV increased a child’s odds of having attention problems at age 7 by about 10 percent. Those who watched for three hours a day between the ages of 1 and 3 were 30 percent more likely to have attention trouble at age 7 than those viewing no TV.
The notion that kids watch far too much TV is a no-brainer, literally. My strong recommendation is to minimize TV watching to no more than a few hours per WEEK, as a short attention span is only the beginning of the problem with TV. Here are some of the other negatives of kids watching TV:
- TV will change your child’s views and food choices
- TV will make your kids fat
- Make your kids more materialistic
- Cause your children to go into more debt as adults
- TV will cause your children to be more aggressive
- May lead to smoking
- Will increase your child’s risk of becoming seriously injured
Although you may be accustomed to turning on the TV to entertain your kids (or yourself), there are many other options out there. Here are 20 to get you started.