Friday, July 16, 2010

Television makes kids smarter or dumber??

Kids like watching television specially their favorite cartoons, don't they? TV has become one of the inseparable part of childhood. And parents are always scolding their kids, asking them to switch off the "Idiot box" and open the "holy" school books. Parents are completely convinced in their mind that their child would have scored higher grades if there was no TV. Have you ever mulled otherwise? Many parents would be astounded to know that their investment in buying TV was the best ever decision they made. A study has found evidence that exposure to TV when in preschool may increase average adolescent test scores. However, the overall effects are small and effects are largest for children from households where English is not the primary language, for children whose mothers have less than a high school education, and for nonwhite children. Moreover, certain TV shows educate children about moral conduct and culture of their society, thus relaxing the task of their parents and teachers.

But wait guys, before merrily giving the TV remote in your child's hand, you should go through the counter argument as well. Watching excessive television can make your child autistic. Another study has revealed that there is a direct correlation between watching TV and autistic cases among kids. The alarming rise in autism in the U.S. and some other developed nations is one of the most anguishing mysteries of modern medicine. In 1970, it's incidence was thought to be just 1 in 2500; today about 1 in 170 kids born in U.S. fall somewhere on the autism spectrum (which includes Asperger's Syndrome) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been medical evidences supporting that Television is one of the major factor contributing to the increase cases of autism. Approximately 17% of the growth in autism in California, Pennsylvania and Washington during the 1970s and 1980s was due to the growth of cable television," and "just under 40% of autism diagnoses in the three states studied is the result of television watching due to precipitation. Increased violent nature in children and suicides in efforts to emulate their super hero are other side effects.

To conclude, I would like to say that everything done within limits bear juicy fruits similarly limited watching of television by kids can contribute to their overall development and is likely to make them smarter and more aware. Excessive watching, on the other hand, can do irreparable damage to their brains and their childhood innocence might be lost in the process. It goes without saying that it's in parent's benefit to keep a check on television watching by their kids for "a child's innocence is the best gift God has bestowed upon them".

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