Skip to main content
kid sitting down reading a book in the garden

TV’s Impact on Children

As parents, we cannot ignore the power of TV.

We must:

• Understand that TV is a strong influence

• Protect our children from TV’s negative effects

• Use TV in positive ways for our children

The Bad News:

Most preschoolers watch 3-4 hours each day!

This may be more than a child spends one-on-one with a parent. Does this mean your child will:

• Walk and talk like the people seen on TV?

• Learn TV values instead of family values?

• Get wrong ideas about other races, or about what it means to be a man or woman?

Young children learn skills by doing, not just by watching.

Children who watch too much TV may have:

• Lower language and reading skills.  Young TV watchers do not get enough exercise, and therefore, do not develop good motor and coordination skills.

TV’s fast pace can lower the attention span.

TV violence can:

• Make children more aggressive

• Make children afraid

• Show children that violence is a good way to solve problems

TV makes life seem too simple. Real problems usually take longer than 30 minutes to solve. TV commercials teach children to want more, more, more- and to want it now!

TV means less time for:

• Family fun

• Creativity and imagination

• Interacting with the environment

The Good News

TV can be a positive tool if we use it well.  Many programs help children learn and assist in teaching good values. Slow-paced programs like Blue’s Clues can be fun and teach children how to cooperate, be kind, and sensitive.

To use TV well:

• Screen what your child watches. Change the channel if you see violent, offensive, or adult programs. Explain why.

• Look for nature programs.

• Set time limits. No more than one hour a day!

• Tum off the TV when nobody is watching. Do not let it run in the background.

Watch TV with your child.

• Talk about what you are seeing.

• Ask questions about the program.

• Help your child think about what’s happening.

• A young child cannot tell the difference between pretend and real life. You will need to help them with this understanding.

• Contact the TV stations in your area and ask for better children’s programs!

Remember, Only YOU can make TV positive for your child!