Sunday, November 24, 2013

Scientific Study Proves TV Making Children Dumber - Turn Off The TV and Talk To Your Children

The study found that every hourly increase in daily television viewing at 29 months of age is associated with diminished vocabulary and math skills, classroom engagement (which is largely determined by attention skills)

Parents who sit their children in front of the television for hours are being blamed for an alarming rise in the number of youngsters who cannot speak properly.

Adults should turn off the TV and talk more to their children to encourage verbal skills, according to a speech therapy charity.

Nursery teachers are faced with children who are struggling to develop their vocabulary, cannot speak clearly and have difficulty understanding instructions.

Of those, 92 per cent blamed the lack of conversation between adults and children.

More than three quarters of nursery staff said TV was a major factor, while 64 per cent cited the habit of some parents of talking on behalf of their children.

"It is imperative that parents and nursery workers understand that both are critical in the development of the child.

"Early intervention is crucial so that we can ensure that children with speech and language difficulties have the same opportunities in life as other children."

It has been claimed that some five-year-olds spend so much time in front of the TV that they cannot speak properly and communicate in grunts.

Last year, an NOP study carried out for the toy retailer Early Learning Centre found that a third of under-threes have a TV in their bedroom. Four out of five children aged under six watch up to six hours a day.

Soon afterwards Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, David Bell, warned that the communication and behavioural skills of five-year-olds are at an all-time low.

Government guidelines say that children should be able to talk to others and initiate conversation by the age of five. There was also a warning yesterday that young children could be damaged by the confrontational and sexual content of daytime television.

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Studies have shown that in the past few decades, a significant number of American children spent more time in front of a television set than in a classroom. Many of them were free to watch without supervision; in fact, nearly a quarter had sets in their own rooms.

Much has been studies and written about the effects of violent TV shows on the minds of young children. But what has not been scrutinized, as thoroughly, is the impact that even more innocuous programming can have upon the ways that they think and feel. The problem in these cases is not the content but rather the medium itself, which demands that they be passive while bombarded with imagery that they can neither respond to nor be given time to think about and assimilate. Essentially, the television set confronts them with another reality -- one that is not responsive to them. It is a world they cannot enter, and where their action and initiative make no difference.

There are, no doubt, many television programs available -- especially if one has cable -- that are educational in nature. Even the majority of these, however, are more appropriate for kids in their teen years. Many studies made on child cognitive development suggest that too much stress laid upon the intellect can have an adverse effect upon their learning processes. For example, introducing them to reading too early can make them feel indifferent towards it later because they'd failed to connect with the joy of the activity. Children learn naturally by interaction, by actively participating in their environment. We can promote their development best by encouraging hobbies that will engage all of their senses. Too much TV watching conditions them to passivity -- i.e., to a state of mind where they're used to stimulus being served to them and choices being made for them. This exacts a dear cost to their budding imaginations and sense of initiative. Activities that draw upon the inner imagery of their minds -- like drawing, painting, clay sculpting, handwork and (once they are in grade school) reading will be much more beneficial for them both mentally and emotionally. Artistic diversions teach children that what is inside themselves can be brought forth into the world.
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