We understand why you’re apprehensive about allowing your child too much TV time, but if the movies and TV shows from the ’90s are anything to go by, it will help the, develop their IQ and EQ as well as develop their critical thinking skills. In fact, the Journal of Educational Psychology found that when a TV show repeats sequences or new words, children who watch the same show on repeat over a few days undergo a boost in memory, enhanced learning, and better transfer of information to the real world. Just follow our tips on how you make the best of it:
Of course, just because we recommend allowing your children to watch television doesn’t mean you should allow them to run wild with the programmes. It’s also important to note that the more you restrict them from something, the more likely they’ll be doing it behind your backs. The Media Psychology journal has found across 34 studies that there were positive effects on children who were exposed to pro-social content – especially when shows depicted positive traits such as altruism, as desired behaviour. They did, however, find a link to negative effects on children when they watched more aggressive pro-social content – so it’s important to be discerning when it comes to setting ground rules on the sort of programmes they watch.
Dr Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, a paediatrician, advocates encouraging your kids to be smarter consumers by asking them questions whenever they view an advertisement on television, such as: “What do you like about that?”, “Do you think it’s really as good as it looks in that ad?”. Dr Ari Brown, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ group investigating media use, echoes this sentiment by saying that engaging your child during their screen time encourages brain activity. So, spark such a conversation with your children about shows they are watching to further their understanding of certain moral behaviours and values they are putting across.
It’s crucial to set boundaries when it comes to watching television, but even experts such as Dr Ari Brown are acknowledging that in today’s world where screens are becoming more and more prevalent, prescribed rules such as no more than two hours of screen time per day are becoming outdated. Instead, she encourages keeping everything in moderation and creating a more balanced life for your children by ensuring they are doing other things as well – for example, setting up tech-free zones or shared spaces such as the family dinner table.