One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes You Can Make [Part 1] - P.O.W. Report

Sunday, September 15, 2019

One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes You Can Make [Part 1]

Tlingit and Haida peoples of Alaska is a page that I enjoy following and below is a story shared by Dr. Morrison which was originally written by Dr. Mercola. Follow the page here 

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 27 2010 | 105,994 views

No matter how physically active a child is, time spent in front of the computer or television screen is associated with psychological problems. In other words, children can't make up for TV time by spending extra hours exercising.

The findings also suggest that the way children spend their sedentary time, in addition to how much time they spend being sedentary in the first place, matters for their mental health.

According to Live Science:

"... [R]esearchers asked 1,013 British 10- and 11-year-olds how much time each day they spent in front of a computer or TV. The children also wore accelerometers around their waists for a week to track their physical activity and sedentary time ...
The study found that ... more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties."

Live Science October 11, 2010
Pediatrics October 11, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

I've written about the wide variety of health benefits that exercise provides, one of which is treating depression and boosting mental health. These benefits apply to children as well as adults, and, in fact, the younger you start, the greater the long-term benefits.

However, there's nary a household in the US that doesn't have at least one TV, and/or a computer, and for all their potential benefits, TV-watching and computer use also has a long list of drawbacks, especially where children are concerned.

Most troubling is the finding that you may not be able to compensate for time spent in front of the TV or the computer screen. Because regardless of your child's overall level of physical activity, spending more than two hours a day on these digital displays may be all it takes to impact their mental and emotional health...

Kids Spend an Astounding Amount of Time Watching TV or Using Computer. Today, less than one-third of kids aged 6 to 17 get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. Compare that to the TV-watching statistics below, and you'll realize just how troublesome the above findings may be. It may even be a crucial part of the equation that might explain why so many children are now using anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs.

• The average American watches nearly FIVE HOURS of TV a day
• More than half of American children have a television in their bedroom; one study put the number at 70 percent
• Twice as many adolescents with a television in their bedroom watch more than five hours of TV a day compared with youths without a TV in their bedroom
• 90 percent of American toddlers, under the age of 2, watch TV, videos and DVD's regularly
• About 40 percent of babies, under 3 months of age, watch TV, videos and DVD's regularly
• Based on a 2007 survey of families in two states, kids at 3 months watched less than an hour of TV daily, and that viewing time climbed to 90 minutes as children reached the toddler stage.

Visual digital media such as television programming and educational DVD's are being increasingly introduced to an ever younger audience.

Unfortunately, contrary to what you've been told, this type of educational material may actually retard language development rather than speed it up!

British psychologist Aric Sigman writes in his 2008 paper titled, DOES NOT COMPUTE, Screen Technology in Early Years Education:

"… [T]he scientists found that for every hour per day spent watching specially developed baby DVDs and videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, children under 16 months understood an average of six to eight fewer words than children who did not watch them.

One of the authors stated," The evidence is mounting that they are of no value and may in fact be harmful.

Given what we now know, I believe the onus is on the manufacturers to prove their claims that watching these programs can positively impact children's cognitive development. The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter."


So much for Baby Einstein and teaching your child to use a computer as soon as they're able to press a button, with the hopes of boosting their development...

The Steep Price of Letting Your Child have a TV in Their Bedroom

Keeping a TV in your child's bedroom is not a wise parenting decision, based on the evidence available.

A growing body of research shows strong links between a TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.

Children with TVs in their bedroom:

• Score lower on school tests
• Are more likely to have sleep problems
• Are more likely to be overweight
• May have an increased risk of smoking
• Tend to consume more unhealthy foods
Exercising More May Not Be Enough, Unless You Also Shut Off the TV...

(To be continued)

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