Studies have show that a large number of young children are watching some form of TV each day, whether through direct.tv cable, satellite tv or Internet streaming. Roughly 20 percent of toddlers were watching a video or DVD each day with more than double that amount watching at least some TV according to a 2010 survey. Popular videos with toddlers are Baby Einstein and other videos seen as educational and stimulating to the toddler’s forming brain. Reports are conflicting as to whether or not these videos offer true educational value but there is little doubt that children often sit transfixed by the images. Parents also report allowing their kids to watch shows on public broadcast. Programs such as Sesame Street, Super Why, or The Electric Company offer lessons to kids in terms of reading and appropriate social interactions.
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As toddlers age and grow to be six and seven years old, TV watching tends to increase. Kids at this age are turning the TV on themselves and often no longer look to their parents to provide their programming. Nearly 70 percent of children at this age will look for the DVDs they want to put in the player and will usually channel surf until they find something they want to watch. While parents may welcome the opportunity to step aside as the child entertains himself, the results aren’t always great. Left to their own devices, children will often search for shows their friends are talking about at school and not necessarily a program that offers any educational value.
Monitoring your child’s TV habits is important. Use the channel blocker to restrict their viewing and always know just what your child is watching.