Have you ever noticed how your kids forget everything else when they’re watching TV? Don’t wait until they’re addicted to it before you do something about their TV habits.
Several studies have already proven that watching television can significantly influence brainwaves and states of consciousness. In fact, if people watch too much television, they have a higher risk of being obese, developing various health problems, and even being dumbed down.
Why is “TV time” bad for kids?
Since the television has become a regular part of the lives of most people, parents, child caregivers, or guardians don’t think twice about resorting to “TV time” if the kids are feeling antsy or bored. However, since their brains are still developing at an accelerated rate, being exposed to TV shows that may influence their mental growth can have negative impacts on children. Unlike adults, children may not always make the right choice, such as knowing when they’ve spent too much time watching TV.
Without proper guidance from parents and guardians, TV can be a seemingly harmless pastime that could eventually turn into an addictive “drug” for children. Like actual drugs, TV can easily grip their minds and hold their consciousness captive.
According to research, TV time can have a notable impact on the decision making processes of children as they’re growing up.
In the study, researchers separated TV watchers from those who used gadgets likes handheld devices, iPads, and smartphones. The scientists selected participants who were born before the advent of these various gadgets.
The results of the study showed that kids who were given TV time eventually developed unhealthy habits as adults like eating unhealthy food (e.g., fast food, salty or sweet snacks, sports drinks, etc.) and skipping breakfast on weekdays. Data showed that increasing toddler TV time by one hour and 13 minutes was associated with “an 8.2 percent increased risk of unhealthy eating habits.”
Additionally, extending the time spent watching television also led to a “13.3 percent increase in BMI.” The study’s results also revealed that there’s a chance that children could be less engaged in their schoolwork. (Related: Too much screen time too early damages children for life.)
The researchers said that lifestyle habits are important because they influence both an individual’s metabolic risk and “personal success outcomes.” Even when observed over 10 years later, the researchers advised that parents need to be more active when it comes to taking part in how their children spend their spare time since it can greatly affect “long-term life course trajectories.”
The study, called “Prospective associations between toddler televiewing and subsequent lifestyle habits in adolescence,” presented the following significant points:
- Excessive TV time during childhood was linked to subsequent risks in adolescence.
- Excessive TV time during childhood was linked to a risk of being overweight in adulthood.
- Excessive TV time during childhood was linked to risk of poor eating habits in adulthood.
- Excessive TV time during childhood was linked to later risk of skipping breakfast in adulthood.
- Excessive TV time during childhood implied a later risk of being less engaged at school.
These conclusions drive home the importance of preventing obesity, a dangerous health problem that’s closely associated with major diseases like cancer.
Ensuring that your children learn how to spend their time wisely instead of simply just watching television can help prevent the likelihood of them developing health problems, fatal diseases, and a decline in their mental acuity.
Engaging activities that can replace TV time
Get your kids to try these fun activities with you so you can wean them off of TV time:
- Bake something – Baking is a hobby that lets you enjoy something delicious after an afternoon of hard work.
- Build a pillow fort – This fun activity will involve some cleaning up, but building a pillow fort is a great way to bond and have fun with your kids.
- Plan a group play date – Take play dates up a notch by inviting the whole family of your children’s friends and hang out as a group.
- Play some board games – Have a family game night whenever you can so your kids can spend more time with you while also doing fun activities.
- Read – Take everyone to the library and check out several books. You can also help your kids practice their reading skills by letting them read aloud to each other.
- Share your skills with your kids – If you know how to knit or play a musical instrument, spend some time teaching your kids. It’s a great activity that also allows you to impart your wisdom to your children.
You can learn more about other findings on the negative effects of TV on children and how to prevent them at Research.news.
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