Justmommies /Parenting /Teach Kids to Turn It Off  





Teach Kids to Turn It Off

(Excerpt from The Floppy Sleep Game Book by Patti Teel)

Time that children spend watching television takes away from time that could have been spent creatively. It’s also a concern that the ready-made pictures on television may rob children of the ability to make pictures in their own minds. Many teachers are convinced that this accounts for many of their student’s reading difficulties. Children who don’t enjoy reading or find it difficult often have trouble “picturing” what they read.


In addition, children are very vulnerable to the affects of television violence. Research has shown that watching it can cause children to behave more aggressively, become desensitized to the pain of others and fearful of the world around them. Remember, things that may not be frightening to an adult could be terrifying to a young child. Frightening images and sounds can trigger bedtime fears and nightmares, especially for young children who are still learning to distinguish make-believe from reality. But there is yet another compelling reason why we should be cautious about exposing children to excessive amounts of television, video, and computer games.

Many of us who work closely with children have begun to suspect that today’s technology may be changing the wiring in our children’s brains and contributing to the rise of ADHD and other neurobiological disorders. Although more studies are needed, preliminary research seems to indicate that television viewing and other forms of video have the potential to affect the brain and related learning abilities.

A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics in April 2004, suggested that TV viewing in very young children contributes to attention problems later in life. According to Christakis, the lead author of the study, “Each hour of television watched per day at ages one through three increases the risk of attention problems by almost 10 percent at age seven.” A television programming tactic that is often used to keep children’s attention focused on the show may be particularly harmful.

Both Chistakis and Jane Healy, author of the book, Endangered Minds, warn that programs which use rapid scene changes may have a particularly harmful affect on brain chemistry. They believe that exposure to this type of high intensity, unrealistic action conditions a child’s mind to expect that level of stimulation and that after adjusting to it, they become bored and inattentive without it.

You may not want to completely eliminate television from your household but be sure to limit viewing time and turn it off when it is simply running in the background. Carefully monitor the shows that your child watches, and keep in mind that for young children, slow paced shows are preferable to fast-paced ones. Video games are known to provoke high levels of stress so limit the amount of time that your child is allowed to play them. Have a quiet time each evening and turn everything off at least an hour before bed.

  • Limit television & video viewing time, as well as time spent playing video or
    computer games.
  • Monitor TV shows, avoiding violent shows, those that are fast paced and
    material that is inappropriate for your child’s age and level of maturity.
  • Turn all electronic equipment off at least an hour before bed.

About the author: Dubbed “The Dream Maker” by People magazine, Patti Teel is a former teacher and the author of The Floppy Sleepy Game Book, which gives parents techniques to help their children relax or fall asleep. Visit her online at

Other articles you may like

Avoiding Food Battles
It's common for food to become a source of conflict in most families.

First-born Jealousy
Our first-born is showing extreme jealousy towards the new baby.

Fortify Sensitive Kids
Sensitive children are likely to be wonderfully compassionate, bright, creative and imaginative.


What's Popular

Handling Unwanted Advice
Six Tips for Less-Stress Parenting
When Consequences Don’t Work
When Parents Disagree
Hitting, Kicking, Biting and Hair Pulling
Tantrums, Fussing and Whining
Tips for Dealing With a Picky Eater
Quick Facts About Potty Training
The Potty Training Readiness Quiz
Shy Kids: How to Help Kids Make Friends
The Popularity Game: Teaching Kids How To Cope
Childproofing Your Home
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Bedtime Without Battles

Pregnancy & Parenting Message Boards | Chats | Topics A to Z Pregnancy & Baby Tickers | Pregnancy Calendar |
Baby Names
| Due Date Calculator | Pregnancy Week By Week | Social Networking for Moms
Signs of Ovulation| Signs of Pregnancy | Signs of Labor

Home | Contact Us | How to advertise | Terms of service | Privacy Statement | Community Guidelines

Copyright ©2003-2012, All Rights Reserved.