Children and TV
TV… more informative than you think
Television is a treasure trove of information for children. According to Maguy Chailley, professor of educational sciences, "thanks to television, children learn new words, discover science, geography, cultural differences". If this is true for children's programs such as "The blue tree" or the "Gt boys", the problem arises when children watch other programs with their parents, older siblings, babysitters ... Often they don't enough weight is given to this passive reception.
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The simple fact of receiving visual images puts the child in a particular state of excitement, which increases with lowering of age. The child focuses all his attention on the screen. Famous pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton speaks of television stress: "The child's body is passive but tense, his cardiovascular system is at its maximum, the muscle tension is that of a child under pressure, not a relaxed child ... We must absolutely reflect on the consequences of television on children up to 4 years: at that age the ability to bear is limited. "
Paradoxically, the child cannot vent this arousal because he is inactive. Inaction, already harmful, can even lead to obesity if it is accompanied by numerous overtime snacks.
The television images impress the child, in the true sense of the word: they leave an imprint on his psyche. The child does not know how to analyze what he sees, he is invaded by images, innocent or violent, against which he has no cultural or psychological means to defend himself.
The consequences are twofold: on the one hand, nightmares and irrational fears may arise, on the other, behavioral difficulties may arise, the child can acquire an aggressive attitude and reproduce the gestures seen on TV.
If you are skeptical, observe your child's reactions: if he is watching a very noisy action program, once the TV is turned off he will surely have an agitated behavior.
No television until the age of 2 or 3
All pediatricians agree: no television before the age of 3 or 4, stress is too important and the images too intrusive for the nervous system of the little ones. Therefore, avoid putting your baby's high chair in front of the TV while preparing dinner.
After the age of 3 - 4, the time spent watching television must be limited: no more than half an hour up to the age of 5, then no more than an hour, and the child must always be accompanied by his parents.
Get comfortable on the sofa with your child, choose the program together and stay with him to answer his questions and to explain what he sees. This “active” attitude allows the child to distance himself from the images and to acquire critical habits (images are no longer perceived as “pure gold”). It's up to you to explain it, show your child how cartoons are made, talk to him about special effects and television studios… in short, make him understand that TV is not real life!
It is best to avoid always watching the same program at the same time, otherwise it risks turning into a mandatory appointment. To avoid tears and arguments, propose another activity and don't mention television!
Anyway, no television in the morning, which is the time when children are most receptive, and never too late in the evening, the ideal time is late afternoon.
Be categorical with your children, make the rules clear and strictly adhere to them: at the appointed time, it turns off! Does your baby have a crying fit? It does not matter, you remain inflexible and you will see that next time there will be no protests.