How harmful is television to a child’s development?

What’s happening in the brain of a baby or a toddler when they’re watching television? Do things like Baby Einstein make kids smarter, or do they cause harm? Lisa Guernsey is the author of Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Age 5. The mother of two, Guernsey joins Coy Barefoot to talk about what she learned after an exhaustive investigation.


9 Replies to “How harmful is television to a child’s development?”

  1. wow, really interesting. some good points. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m not really sure where I stand on things like kids with TV and video games and stuff. nice podcast though Coy

  2. This is one of those topics where it is really hard to gage how it effects children. I mean I grew up watching sesame street. I remember cookie monster the most. And I love cookies! Is that tied to me watching sesame street? who knows? But I do hate big yellow birds! I think as time goes on links will be come more clear, however I don’t know how I will monitor my daughters tv habits once she gets old enough to start watching it.

  3. Kids from age 0 – 5 has an amazing ability to pick up things that surrounds them. I do agree that turning the TV on and simply exposing young kids to the chatters on screen is bad. But i think certain VCDs with classical musics and with simple images and animations are good for kids as they stimulates the neuro development. Especially babies from 1-12 months of age.

    I certainly would like to pick up this book to understand further and would hope to see detailed studies by researchers into this claims.

    thanks for the intro though :)

  4. Personally, I think there are some good TV programs out there for kids. The key is moderation. Childrend need to be active and imaginative. They need to play as well as learn, but just like adults some mindless entertainment is also necessary from time to time. They are not robots and they feel stress just like us so what can it hurt to let them watch a show that makes them laugh for half an hour?

  5. TV has some positives and negatives. I think it also depends on the child. My 3 year old pick up other languages on TV pretty fast. My 7 year old can care less.

  6. I had never before thought about the background chatter from TV which children can be subjected to. Leaving young kids in front of the TV for hours on end can’t be very good for their development.

    On the other hand I believe it is all too easy to be over concerned with what our children watch on television. As long as it is done in moderation, I find it hard to believe there will really be any long term harm done.

  7. This is very interesting my child from a Baby, has watch videos such as Baby Einstein and other learning type videos. She is now 4 and I cannot tell if it helped her at all. She is very bright and picks up thinks easily so I might have helped !

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