Television today is not often considered a form of education, but parents can make it be just that. With access to live internet TV streaming kids can have access to a much larger selection of education shows than ever before. Does your child love a particular animal on a show or a specific science form that was showcased in his favorite cartoon? Take it a step further by taking him to the library to check out books on those activities or search for internet streaming shows that are focused solely on that subject. This allows your child to have his entertainment value with his favorite cartoons while learning new things as a result. The key is staying involved with your child as he explores the world around him rather than using the television like a babysitter, as that is when it gets its bad rap. When you explore the many options available together, you can make it a great experience for everyone.
Learn about New Cultures
One problem with today’s world is that kids are very self-centered. This occurs when they are subjected to commercialized shows, given whatever they want, and not exposed to other cultures and ways of life. Let them see how the other side of the world lives, learn what they eat, and see what they do. In the same line of thinking as above, let them check out books on these cultures, try to recreate the foods they see by reading cultural cookbooks, and participate in some of the same activities so they can see how the other side of the world lives. This helps to create well-rounded, education, and empathetic children that our world is running short on today.
Foster a Love of Reading
Some people might argue that watching television makes kids not want to read, but in many cases, the opposite is true. When kids fall in love with a character, whether from a television show that they found while watching TV online for free, or in a movie, they are very likely to get excited to see books with the same characters – especially toddlers. Think of your child’s favorite cartoons and set out to find books with those characters on them. Suddenly turning the television off won’t be such a bad idea to them when they see that they can read, see, and touch their favorite characters in their book, while sitting on your lap, enjoying quality time with you – it’s a win-win for everyone. The key factor here is that they found the characters on television and fell in love with them – it is up to you to further that experience by helping them find books with the same people/characters to keep the education going.
Letting toddlers watch television occasionally can be a good thing for them. Not only does it give their mind a break from the day-to-day activities and stress that occur, but it helps them foster a love for reading and cross-cultural education. There is no sense in shielding your child from television as it could be harming his ability to become a more educated, well-rounded person. It could be a very beneficial part of their childhood as well as a great way for you to bond with your child during the formative years when their love for education, reading, and even closeness with others is being formed. If you have shielded your toddler from television, maybe you want to start looking at it a little differently, giving your child the chance at a well-rounded education too.
Do you let your toddler watch television? Let us know how much they watch and what they watch in the comments below!