How Can Turning Off the TV Help Your Child?

How Can Turning Off the TV Help Your Child?

Learn how shutting off the tube could positively affect your child’s development.

If it seems that your child watches too much TV, you're probably right. The average American child is glued to the tube for almost four hours a day, according to the television ratings measurement group Nielsen. That's more than twice as much as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: a maximum of one to two hours a day (watching quality programming).

Realistically, you're probably not going to banish television from your household. In fact, not all TV is bad. While some educational television programs can help your child learn, setting TV time limits also can help your child in many ways.

Better Social Development
During the early years of development, children need positive interaction with other children and adults. Too much television can negatively affect the way children learn to talk and play with others, as hours that could be spent socializing are spent in front of the screen.

The same is true with older children. The more time they spend focusing on the tube, rather than friends and family, the more likely they are to have trouble socializing as adults.

Improved Grades in School
Help your child concentrate more on schoolwork by keeping the TV off in the evening. She'll focus better without distracting TV noise in the house.

More Bonding With Family Members

Take a look at your family's nightly ritual. Does it involve watching television together? Pick a couple nights out of the week to keep the TV turned off. You can talk about each other's days, play a game or do an activity together. More bonding time with the family will help your child build stronger family connections.

Less aggressive behavior
Violence on television isn't limited to post-bedtime shows. Cartoons can also be violent and teach your child that it's appropriate to use force as a response for many things a simple conversation could solve.


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A Better Night's Sleep
Children who watch television are at a higher risk of irregular sleeping schedules —especially children younger than age 3 — according to a recent study. Kids will sleep better and burn more energy if they play outside rather than watch TV.

Less Likely to be Overweight
TV trains your kid to become a little couch potato. Plus, he sees many commercials for things like candy, snacks, sugary cereals and sodas, whi

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