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Effects of television: What do YOU think?

(63 Posts)
Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 20:56:20

This weeks TES magazine has a worrying article about several pieces of recent research into the effects of television on children.
here

What do you think of the article?

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 21:09:51

Nobody interested?

Lubyloo Mon 22-Sep-08 21:11:42

I can't open the link!

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 21:19:59

I found the TES site very slow - but opened the link ok

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 21:22:30

tbh I'm finding MN very slow too - taking over 30 seconds to load a new page at times.

mppaw Mon 22-Sep-08 21:26:25

Hi Donk, I always worry with the amount of TV DD watches. But I think it is like anything in life, "Moderation".
The opening paragraph about the teachers being blamed for childrens behaviour, when in actual fact the parents are the ones at fault. I overheard someone talking about there DC not being able to tell the time unless it was in digital format, she then went on to moan about the teacher not being aware of this and not telling her !!! WTF
Anyway, getting back to the point, you could get statistics for everything we do or feed or involve or DC's with, and they would probably indicate they are not good for our DC's.
I always try to have things sorted out for DD to do, places to go but if we do have a day in and she watches ALOT of TV, I really try not to beat myself up.
I also think encouraging free play is good and definately helps with their concentration and imagination.

Sorry if I have waffled and gone off track abit, but do feel quite strong about parents taking responsibility for their childrens behaviour/progression etc.

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 21:33:42

The bit I found most worrying was that "For every hour of television a child watched per day, there was a 9 per cent increase in attentional problems"
Now that's not every child - but in a class of 30, how much television do they watch on average? For every hour, that's another 2-3 children who will find it difficult to concentrate!

mppaw Mon 22-Sep-08 21:45:01

Agree, a very worrying thought.
I was born early seventies, and when I think back to the amount of TV we had on offer in the early eigthties compared to the numerous channels our DC have to choose from today, I am not surprised by this stat.
I dont think TV is the only contributing factor to attention problems, how about the food that some children are given.

I dont know the answer, but research like this is good as it brings to light the possible effects of TV.

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 21:50:28

Anyone else?

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 22:01:17

Come back Lubyloo - the link works if you wait long enough!

nelliesmum Mon 22-Sep-08 22:07:44

What about the effect on Me of never getting that half-hour's peace while the dc watch Peppa Pig?

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 22:10:40

I know NM - its another thing to feel guilty about.
I have very ambivalent feelings about the television!

nelliesmum Mon 22-Sep-08 22:15:33

Seriously, I am wracked with guilt when they watch TV, as I am when they eat crisps or play video games or drink squash. But they are OKAY, they are not a statistic, they are real children and they do things that are bad for them sometimes, and they are still Okay. What the f*ck am I meant to do with a 3 year old at 6 in the morning? Get out the playdough?

My 4 year-old can put a 100 piece jigsaw together, she also gets a lot of pleasure form the television. She is Okay!!!

nelliesmum Mon 22-Sep-08 22:15:50

Seriously, I am wracked with guilt when they watch TV, as I am when they eat crisps or play video games or drink squash. But they are OKAY, they are not a statistic, they are real children and they do things that are bad for them sometimes, and they are still Okay. What the f*ck am I meant to do with a 3 year old at 6 in the morning? Get out the playdough?

My 4 year-old can put a 100 piece jigsaw together, she also gets a lot of pleasure form the television. She is Okay!!!

NotAnOtter Mon 22-Sep-08 22:21:31

i find that by NOT letting my dcs watch much tv the BENEFIT long term far outweighs the short term loss

Sorry if that is poor english

I learned the hard way that children who have learned to occupy themselves 99%of the time without a screen are far easier to be with/parent/enjoy than those who watch tv and rely on it for stimulation

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 22:24:05

I know what you mean NaO - DS is much pleasanter to be around when he hasn't been watching much television (and by much I mean no more than an hour a day) I can really see the difference!

phdlife Mon 22-Sep-08 22:25:56

Interesting that the author of the piece is himself a researcher in this area, which smacks of confirmation bias to me.

I also would have to wonder how they accounted for other factors, such as family fragmentation, pressures of consumption, etc.

And another thing I wonder is: how can they prove that the behaviour (apparent attention disorder) indicates children are not learning? Ok, the kids aren't doing their homework, but how do they know these kids would do their homework if there wasn't tv around? Have the researchers shown these children to be failing more tests than those who watch lest tv? Even that doesn't prove they aren't learning - may only show they are bad at tests.

just playing devil's advocate here grin

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 22:32:08

Confirmation bias is always a problem - and 'tis difficult to do experiments with proper controls in education/social science!
Nonetheless, I think it is interesting that several large scale (I believe) studies are all finding similar problems.
Do you know of any research with other outcomes?

NotAnOtter Mon 22-Sep-08 22:32:58

i do love that article

my attitude towards screens as a whole is frowned upon by many ( in rl and on here)nyet i 'learned; this attitude through prenting my older dcs and therefore changed my ways and have gradually removed screens to a greater or lesser degree

i DO agree with a lot of that article and am stnned at the results of studies HOWEVER

academia aside

I find the correlation between screen time and general contentment to be a major issue not touched on

my kids have a very HIGH (?) boredom threshold and will play jigsaws for hours or help in the garden etc - i put this down to lack of screening

bigspender30 Mon 22-Sep-08 22:33:13

I think its yet another article aimed at making parents feel guilty by scaremongering. Moderation as someone said is the key. So long as kids are getting free play, parental attention and fresh air then what harm is a bit of telly? blush

NotAnOtter Mon 22-Sep-08 22:36:14

my older dcs who watched much more tv were much more whingy whiney and demanding with regard to activities

they needed to be stimulated - encouraged - played with

they also moaned for tv far far more than the ones who get much less of it

the relied on it

I blame myself for this and have subsequently slowly weaned them off it

my younger dcs have not had it so do not miss it

Donk Mon 22-Sep-08 22:37:21

I don't think that the article is aimed at making parents feel guilty - it is in the Times Ed, for teachers. Who may be parents - but I do not think that was the intention

EachPeachPearMum Mon 22-Sep-08 23:03:50

I think the point that comes out is that it isn't a 'bit' of telly... it's 3 or 4 or more hours a day. Considering children are only up for about 14 hours, occupied with school, travel, eating for about 8 or 9 hours, really these children are filling almost all their downtime with television.
I don't think 20-30 minutes a day would seriously harm your child- especially if you watch it with them and that stimulates other discussion and further learning.

We do not watch television in our household though wink

nooka Mon 22-Sep-08 23:27:34

I think it is a bit OTT, and I would like to look at the studies to see how they judged how much TV was being watched. I am a little dubious as to how those 11-15 year olds were watching 7 1/2 hours TV, as that would imply that they did nothing else at all.

But I have a vested interest, as I grew up in a household with no TV, and it was quite socially isolating, so it's not something I would do myself - apart from the fact that I enjoy TV, so it would be very unfair to say I could watch TV and they couldn't. I think that such families are the exception (and have been for a long time) and if the studies were comparing such a small group I would wonder about the significance within the studies.

My children regularly spend times without a TV, but we also enjoy watching TV together, which we enjoy, and they also watch TV for their down time. They get plenty of stimulation from fighting and playing with each other, so I don't worry about them too much.

meandmyjoe Tue 23-Sep-08 06:48:58

Surely no ones's kids watches that much tv every day?!! 7.5 hours is a bit ridicullous but I'm sure in moderation it's fine. I think it only becomes a problem when the child is doing nothing but watching tv and is therefore losing real life interaction and vital excercise and other activities. I agree that it being in the background constantly can affect their concentration, it affects mine so it must do with some children.

I'm sire an hour or less is OK.

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