Early TV watching and Attention Problems

7 Dec




Regardless of how you feel about children watching violent TV or age-appropriate programming,  research from The American Academy of Pediatrics concludes that early television exposure (between the ages of 1 and 3) is associated with an increase in attention problems in children by age 7.

From a language development perspective, I could not agree more.  Watching TV is a passive activity.  It is one way communication.  When we watch TV, we are not actively engaged in listening and communication and so much of learning language is centered around active listening.  When we watch television, nothing is expected of us in return, so even though we are hearing the words coming out of the TV and understanding them, we are passively listening.   Children learn words by hearing, experiencing, and using them in a variety of contexts.

The brain grows through auditory stimulation- that is, training our brain how to process sounds and words.  This happens for children through engaging play activities, reading books with parents, telling stories and communicating with other children and adults who can provide good language models.  Even “educational programming” is no substitute for conversation when it comes to developing strong language and listening skills.


One Response to “Early TV watching and Attention Problems”

  1. michelle landin December 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    This articule was very informative! I agree that TV isn’t stimulating and It doesn’t invoke active thinking. So I’m going to try my best to work with my brother to develop his communication skills; that in combination with the helpful tips you provide should be great!


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