You are currently viewing TV and the upcoming holiday

TV and the upcoming holiday

For many years, actually since 2009, I haven’t had a TV in my house. I just simply did not agree with the widely held “universal truth” that TV is a must have for the children. I prefer that we talk,read or play. I hope I made the right choice.

Children are very impressionable and it is important to control what their minds are exposed to. Time spent watching television takes away from important activities such as reading, homework, playing, exercise, family interaction, and social development.

While television can entertain, inform, and keep our children company, it may also influence them in undesirable ways:

Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. When they’re staring at screens, kids are inactive and tend to snack. They’re also bombarded with ads that encourage them to eat unhealthy foods like chips and drink empty-calorie soft drinks like sodas that often become favorite snack foods.

Kids who watch violent acts on TV are more likely to show aggressive behavior. Many violent acts are caused by the “good guys,” whom kids are taught to admire. In fact, in video games the hero often succeeds by fighting with or killing the enemy. Programs that show huge wrestlers fighting with each other to excite a screaming public and even seemingly innocent cartoons like Tom and Jerry where they are seen constantly bashing each other send certain messages to children. Through such violent programs children get the idea that violence is a means to power.

TV is full of content that depicts risky behaviors (such as drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, and having sex at a young age) as cool, fun, and exciting.
Studies have shown that teens who watch lots of sexual content on TV are more likely to initiate intercourse or participate in other sexual activities earlier than peers who don’t watch sexually explicit shows.

That’s why it’s so important for parents to keep tabs on their kids’ screen time and set limits to ensure they’re not spending too much time in front of a television.

What is Recommended?
Dr Kigonya, a renown paediatrician in town recommends these guidelines for screen time:

Babies and toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time, with the exception of video-chatting with family and friends.

Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver.

Nursery school : No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they’re seeing.

Children and adolescents 5 to 18 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being physically active

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Ronnie

    Good nuggets on screen time.
    What alternatives are available?

    1. Mbanda Shyaka

      Engaging games like Lego and other robots, active play like swimming and board games could be great for family bonding if you play together

  2. Moses

    I entirely agree with you on the TV issue. It is a no go area for the children during school time though I relax the rules during holidays. It’s time to rethink the strategy. My three year old is now addicted to a motor racing game his sister downloaded ladst holidays on the phone and throws tantrums every time he is stopped from playing his game. It can be a challenging experience.

    1. Mbanda Shyaka

      Have you stopped to think that that car racing game could be teaching literacy like if they have to read and understand instructions, comprehension of abstract concepts like seasons and legs and leagues, improving reaction times as may be required by the game, Prediction skills, fine motor skills etc?

  3. Kagolo Sarah

    Definitely, the information passed on is real, TV, thing has done more harm than good, am really appreciative. Thanks .

  4. Jane Frances Nakato

    I absolutely agree. TV and screen time steal valuable time. Even for adults. They get hooked to watching series, movies, etc. More screen time with social media. It’s not uncommon to find a couple out for a drink, but both emmersed in something on their phones. As a result, communication and speech have been hampered. I could go on and on and on.

  5. Julius

    So sensitive and inspiring. Thanks

  6. Viola

    Great message for everyone most especially parents. A lot of kids know everything about TV personalities but do not know the efforts they put in to put up a great performance. Like Sonya Carson told Ben Carson in his childhood, work and study hard so that people can also watch you on TV.

    1. Mbanda Shyaka

      Thanks Viola. I like the bit about Carson. Inspirational

  7. Wangi Francis

    Interesting read. However total denial of TV time might have consequences too.

    1. Mbanda Shyaka

      Yes. The idea is moderation but most of all you need to watch with them so you can help them understand different things.

  8. pat

    Very good blog Michael…However I feel that phone and vudeo games have long since replaced this TV addiction…infact more and more children, teens and adults too are becoming less socially interactive due to these gadgets …IlThere is evidence to show that phones and phone/video games are more addictive than your regilar TV shows…in some instances have lead to sucidal pacts and deaths among teenagers who lose a sense of what is real and what isn’t…So…it is indeed a dilemma for the dotcom parent…lets encourage limited access for all, if not balance on every angle and catch addictions in time…cheers

  9. Sifa

    What a great message!! I introduced controls around TV. TV subscription is made only during holidays. But before holidays I make sure each child has at least 3 novels (1 per week). So even in school holidays, TV is switched on after 5pm, and off by 9pm.

    On other days (other than holidays) no TV at all, no subscription. Parents have enough entertainment through social media. My twitter account follows all the possible news handle.. so that too is covered.

  10. Ann

    📺 is a killer. I see that with my kids all the time. They don’t think or reason or do anything when glued on Tv. We have a roll to play. I even want you to talk about phone use, especially with students in schools. Nonsense

Leave a Reply