A Child’s Perspective of TV Shows, Movies, Video Games, and Social Media Videos
Screen time is good for a child’s development, but parents must create the right balance to ensure a healthy lifestyle for young children. With technology influencing most things the current generation does, it exposes children to all kinds of material and media, which can positively or negatively impact their development.
Setting the rules for your child’s screen time and technology use is important in getting the right balance. Besides choosing the best kids TV shows, parents need to be present to guide the children and instill the right values. Let us look at how children of different ages view TV shows, movies, video games, and social media videos to help plan their screen time.
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Although some people expose their children to videos and other media during their first year, waiting until they are 18 months old is advisable. Toddlers may be clueless about what they see on TV, computers, or portable devices, but they can grasp sounds, see movements, and stare at the light. They will copy actions and practice what they see in videos. It is best to offer them atleast 1 hour of screen time daily and watch with them to make it interactive. Children cannot differentiate between virtual and real life at this stage.
Preschoolers can see what is on a screen and focus on the visuals. They can follow programs and shows for their age group, including cartoons and animations. Children at this age may find it challenging to differentiate what is real according to what they watch. Videos with scary components are unsuitable for preschoolers as the image sticks in their brains. Exposure to violent content in TV shows, social media videos, magazines, or video games isn’t healthy as they are likely to copy it.
Around the fifth birthday, children can understand different actions or activities they see on TV and gain interest in music.
Upon reaching the age to start school, children’s brain is more developed, and they can understand sequences and events. They tend to believe what they see on TV, social media, or video games and rarely question what they see. At this stage, characters in movies or video games can influence their conduct and approach to life issues.
Although images and visuals don’t have much impact on school kids, scary pictures or videos frighten them. Children at this age understand what is happening in real life and might not cope well with tragic news. In addition, violent videos or images have a bigger effect on school children than preschoolers. It is easy for them to think that violence is good for what movies and cartoons depict. As kids approach adolescence, they are more aware of their bodies, and explicit materials can affect their sexual development.
The Final Word
Parents need to take a proactive approach in their children’s development, monitoring what they watch and technology use. It includes watching TV or movies together and educating kids on various social and problem-solving issues.