The effects of violent television on children
When I was a child, my parents insisted that their four children choose a main television program per week to watch and complement it with educational television. So the local PBS station used to be on when I was little. As we grew older, we were not allowed to see anything bold, violent or anything related to adult issues. But television in the 70s and 80s was very different from what it is now. My brother chose programs like “Star Trek” and my sister and I chose programs like “Little House on the Prairie”. These were good shows for the children to see.
A 2011 study showed that preschoolers watched about 4.1 hours of television and other screen activities daily. What they see is as important as what they eat. In another recently published study, children who were allowed to see what they wanted tended more to aggression, shouted to get what they wanted and had little social skills. The parents of the group received visualization guidelines appropriate for their age and reported that the children showed more empathy, were less aggressive and had better socialization skills when they saw suitable programs to enjoy. While it can be easy to lay a child on the couch and turn on the TV to keep him busy, it is better to take the time and watch TV with him. What an adult thinks is fun content may be completely inappropriate for a preschooler.
Soft drink taxes can teach childhood obesity
Most Americans do not like the idea of the government getting into our pantries and refrigerators. The state of New York has somehow passed some laws that prohibit large soft drinks in cinemas and those sold on the street. In California, a recent survey showed that the vast majority of respondents opposed the same type of tax. However, when it was mentioned that the tax money would go to health and fitness in schools, more than half supported it. This tells us that we think that as adults, it is okay to be overweight and choose less healthy foods and just exercise, but it is not for our children. In addition, the city of Oakland, California, delivered bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to 15 families last year and about half of the children in those families lost or maintained weight.
Make healthy food options accessible
The lack of grocery stores and even small community markets in low-income neighborhoods is part of the problem. Retailers do not want to open in areas possibly prone to crime. Some small stores in these places barely carry fresh fruit or other healthy foods and snacks. These businesses are where school-age children stop to and from school to get something to eat. In some cities, local nonprofits are providing fresh fruit and incentives for small businesses to give to children, and they seem to be working. These are smart improvements in areas where nothing could be done.
They need to know as they grow up
There are many programs on television today that are specifically aimed at children who teach them something they need to know as they grow up. Children can find comedies for adults fun, and especially young people, do not have the cognitive skills necessary to understand what they are watching. Take time to watch TV with the little ones and ask them questions about what they are watching to see if they understand it.