A recent study suggests that toddlers who watch a lot of TV are more likely to be bullied in their preteen years.
The average time a child spends watching television is approximately 1.5 hours. With each additional hour added to this, a child increased his chances of being bulled by 11%, according to the study.
The study, published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics gathered data from 991 girls and 1,006 boys from Canada. Data included the amount of time spent watching TV and the behavioral characteristics of the child. Years after, when the children reached 11 or 12 years old, the researchers asked them as to how much bullying (physical and verbal) they received.
Results showed that children who spent more time watching TV were more likely to be bullied, even after other factors that could influence the outcome were taken out – child’s behavior, family income, mother’s education level, etc.
Professor at the University of Montreal and author of the study Linda Pagani speculates that the reason may be due to the children’s lack of socialization skills. Instead of socializing and interacting with their parents, the children were glued to the TV. “Excessive viewing time during the early years can create a time debt for pursuits involving social play,” she said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over two years old should watch no more than two hours of quality TV shows a day.
Vange Alianan-Bautista, psychologist at PsychConsult, Inc. in Quezon City, and Maggie Rose Almoro, directress of Children’s Formative Learning School in Laguna, suggest parents engage their toddler in these activities instead:
∙ Play. Almoro strongly advocates engaging infants and toddlers at play. “It’s the primary way by which children should learn to make sense of the world they are in,” she explains. ∙ Interact. Alianan-Bautista says that more than visual stimulation, babies should be presented with activities requiring movement and interaction. “Children should get real-time reactions from people and things which TV cannot provide because it’s a one-way medium,” she says. ∙Read your baby storybooks. Remember to also let him quietly play by himself by giving him a board book or soft blocks.
Sources: July 19, 2015. "Toddlers who watch lots of TV 'are more likely to be bullied'". independent.co.uk July 17, 2015. "Here’s ANOTHER Reason Why Too Much TV is Bad for Your Tot". parents.com July 17, 2015. "Children who watch most TV more likely to be bullied". telegraph.co.uk