According to developmental-behavioral pediatrician Ma. Theresa Arranz-Lim, M.D., TV shows have “a definite impact on the demeanor and development of a child.” A local study showed that preshoolers who spend more than four hours a day watching TV (regardless of content) were more likely to develop speech delays than those who don’t watch TV.
In another study, the more number of hours devoted to TV time meant that a parent was less likely to talk to her child, thus social interaction, which is crucial for development, is missed.
Dr. Arranz-Lim says that many kids who utter bad words pick up most of their foul language from media, or from peers who are highly exposed to inappropriate media. She also cites the research done by psychologist Albert Bandura that proved that children exposed to violence on TV may not necessarily imitate the behaviour immediately, but may do so later on.
If you must let your kids watch TV, here are ten educational shows worth watching:
Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr. Mondays at 9 a.m. (new episodes), Tuesdays to Fridays at 9 a.m. and 12 noon, Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.
Premise: “Come on, vamonos, everybody let’s go!” The invitation to join seven-year-old Dora the Explorer and her best friend Boots on their many exciting adventures is often heeded with enthusiastic shouts. Grab your bag and journey with Dora as she teaches kids how to observe situations and solve problems while they explore her world together. Along the way, your tot can learn basic Spanish words and phrases, as well as beginning math skills, music, and coordination. (Oh, and watch out for Swiper the Fox who would want nothing more than to swipe your stuff!)
Why we like it: The show is very interactive, as kids are encouraged throughout each episode to respond to Dora. Aside from introducing a new language and basic math skills, it also encourages tots to actively participate in each adventure through physical movement.
Take it one step further: Check out Nick Jr. online for games, recipes, and arts and crafts. This site also features activities that teach the Spanish language.