10 Side Effects Of Watching TV On Your Toddler

Side Effects Of Watching TV

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Has your toddler suddenly taken to watching TV all of a sudden? Do you feel he is getting hooked to watching TV more frequently? Has he started throwing tantrums at home whenever you switched off the TV?

If your toddler seems glued to the television more than his playing set, it’s time you know how it can affect your little one. Read on to know more about toddlers and TV.

Is TV Always Bad For Your Toddler?

According to a research shared by the TIME magazine, toddler watching TV before or at preschool age are at a greater risk for developmental challenges and behaviors as compared to toddlers who do not watch TV. Watching TV at such a young age can show some serious consequences by the time they reach age 10. By the time the toddler will reach age 10, he is likely to get disinterested at school, eat unhealthy and become obese [1].

Watching TV has always been considered harmful, especially at a very young age or for your toddler. While almost all child experts are unanimous about their views on the harmful effects of TV, some also think that TV can have some good effects too. Here is a look at both the bad and the good of watching TV that can affect your toddler.

10 Dangers Of Watching TV For Toddlers:

Here are ten effects of TV on toddlers that can affect adversely:

1. It Can Permanently Damage The Brain Structure Of Your Toddler:

According to a research, watching too much TV can permanently change your toddler’s brain structure. [2]

  • If your toddler spends too much time in watching TV, he will have a higher amount of grey matter near his front polar cortex. It is the area that is located at the front part of your toddler’s frontal lobe. Such a condition can mean your toddler may have difficulty in his verbal intelligence.
  • While your toddler watches TV, he may experience a lot of educational content. However, the pace of knowledge that your toddler gets from watching TV does not always vary or increase as per your toddler’s mental capabilities. It means your toddler may have a damaging effect on his cognitive functions.

[ Read: Interesting Summer Activities For Toddlers ]

2. There Are No Real Educational Benefits For Toddlers Under 2 Years:

Till the time your toddler does not reach the age of two years, there is no real educational benefit in watching TV.

  • Whatever your toddler watches on TV is pre-programmed and may not always correlate to your toddler’s cognitive abilities.
  • In fact, your toddler may have a very distorted image of the real world from the education he receives from watching TV. He may also have problems relating to real people if he gets used to watching virtual characters at an early age.

3. It Takes Away Precious Time From Your Toddler:

Getting used to watching TV will mean that your toddler loses a lot of real time that he could use in real situations.

  • Being around real people and in real time situations will help your toddler develop his various brain functions.
  • When your toddler plays with other children his age and sees real things, he will learn much more than he will learn from watching TV.

4. It Numbs Any Initiatives:

When your toddler is constantly exposed to TV, it can numb his thinking abilities and more.

  • Certain TV shows may teach your toddler, but they can also dissuade him from taking any initiative himself.
  • As the TV shows come with every idea and activity pre-programmed, there is not much scope for your toddler to take an initiative and think or do something.

[ Read: Fun Physical Activities For Toddlers ]

5. Reading Time Gets Encroached Upon:

The time your toddler spends watching TV takes up time he could spend reading.

  • Reading is recommended for toddlers from as early as they can hold a book, even earlier if possible. It will help your toddler perform better once he is at school.
  • Reading will also help sharpen your toddler’s various cognitive and motor skills. It will encourage him to spend quality time, encourage imagination and improve memory.

6. Too Much TV Can Hamper Speech:

Most speech and language experts warn that being exposed to too much TV noise at home can hamper your toddler’s speech.

  • If your toddler is always exposed to background noise from the TV, he will have difficulty in listening to other sounds and words.
  • It can permanently hamper your toddler’s speaking abilities.

7. Learning With A Teacher Becomes Difficult:

If your toddler gets used to watching educational shows on TV, it can clash with the way he learns from a real teacher.

  • The shows your toddler watches on TV are always fast-paced and filled with animation. Once your toddler gets used to learning through these shows, he will find it difficult to concentrate on regular teaching techniques in the classroom.
  • It can also become difficult for your toddler to pay any attention to studying or learning at home.

[ Read: Learning Activities For Toddlers ]

8. Attracted Towards Negative Influences:

TV viewing has always been criticized for the negative impact it has on toddlers and children.

  • Even though you regulate what your toddler watches, commercials or content that is age inappropriate can always come up in between shows.
  • TV shows will not always match the sensitivities or values you may want your toddler to learn. For instance, you may not want your toddler to eat packaged foods but the TV shows or commercials may encourage so.

9. It Can Make Your Toddler Obese:

Watching TV from an early age can adversely affect your toddler’s weight.

  • Toddlers who watch too much TV will start facing weight issues from an early age. In most cases, your toddler may turn out to be highly overweight, even obese.
  • Watching TV will take away play time from your toddler and reduce his exercise or physical activity time.

[ Read: Outdoor Activities For Toddlers ]

10. Increases Blood Pressure:

If your toddler is exposed to TV viewing, it can harm his blood pressure by increasing the levels.

  • According to a study, watching too much TV between the ages of 2 till 10 years of age can put your toddler at a 30% higher risk of blood pressure.
  • Combined with lesser physical activity, it can further increase the risk factor by 50%.

Let’s be honest, most parents have used the TV as a babysitter. Even if it is an educational program, it is important to engage with your child on a more personal level. It is always easy to make your toddler sit in front of the TV and get some time for yourself. However, it can create life-long problems for your toddler. Try and involve your toddler in real-time activities and educational play. Does your toddler watch too much TV or have you kept him away from the idiot box till now? Do tell us in the comments below.

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