Wauwatosa– Did you know that it has been estimated that the average child spends the equivalent of one day per week (24 hours) watching television? And while there is a lot of debate on the impact of television on children, one thing is for sure, television’s impact is directly related to the amount of time a child spends watching it.
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Greenfield, Oak Creek, Mequon, and Wauwatosa, “The reality is that TV is a part of culture that isn’t going to go away. As a parent you need to minimize the amount of time your child watches TV, and select educational, informative and entertaining shows for your children to watch. You also need to use this programming as a tool to spur further conversation, exploration and education.”
Anderson says to remember that, while toddlers are drawn to bright colors, lovable characters, and music on television, parents should still be careful to limit the amount of TV they let their children watch.
“TV takes young children away from creative play where they are developing their imagination and learning how to create their own fun,” says Anderson.
“It also can be confusing for young children, because they are unable to separate fact from fiction.”
Anderson says for this age group, to ideally limit TV to one hour per day, and to keep the TV off during meals and prior to bedtime.
School Age Tips
Anderson says to use caution with this age group and to definitely limit their TV usage to two hours or less a day. She also says to set guidelines as to when it is permitted – for example, not until homework and chores are completed.
She points out that many popular shows, including reality programming, offer unrealistic stereotypes that can be damaging for pre-teens who are struggling to find their own identity.
She also suggests that you should never allow a child to have a TV in his or her room. And that you watch TV with your school-ager, so if questions do arise about a program’s content, you can discuss it with your child. Be cautious of a program’s level of exposure to sex, violence, and drugs.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “Two Hours or Less of Screen Time Daily” on Thursday, April 19th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Wauwatosa Child Care Center located inside the UnitedHealth Group Office Building at 10701 West Research Drive. The first two years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. Come to this Family Fun Night for tips to help your child develop positive TV and computer habits. Activities will include putting together puzzles, playing board games, and painting with watercolors. In addition to these activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us! Registration is required. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.
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