How Much TV Is Too Much For The Kids?

multiethnic family watching tv with dog on sofa

by Troop Atomic Mommy

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We all enjoy TV, kids and parents alike, but how much TV is too much? Is that even still a concern these days with all of the social media streaming videos 24/7?

Many of us grew up with the long held belief that television is not the best thing for the kids. In today’s era of constant streaming and over-stimulation from social media, parents are lucky to finally get everyone to sit down for a family movie or show.


Photo Credit Unsplash

Owning a SmartTV has helped in that department. We have access to the thousands of apps available for streaming any show, any live TV, and any movie. Why is watching TV so amazing nowadays? Because we all get to be together and figuring out what to watch gets easier with apps like the JioTV app.

But how do we know if and when TV is too much for the kids? Let’s dive in and take a look at why there is such a thing as too much TV.

Television influences all children’s development. Children who watch TV every now and then may not be harmed in their development, but you can clearly see this in children who are constantly sitting in front of the flickering box. In modern times, it is completely natural for children to grow up watching television.

For 3- to 13-year-olds, TV time averages around 100 minutes a day. However, some experts consider too much television viewing a concern. Excessive TV viewing by children has been blamed for a number of problems. Children and young people who watch a lot of television could:

  • Suffer from obesity
  • Do worse in school
  • React aggressively and violently

In addition, television is like a drug that makes children sluggish and unimaginative. This is really not the case when you watch in moderation.  A balance is required. Combining television with book reading and outdoor activities creates that balance. 

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What are they watching?

Many programs are classified as not suitable for children and this must be remembered at all times.You have to consider which films and programs the children are watching. If a child watches an age-appropriate film for half an hour a day, this is of course to be assessed differently than if the same child watches a violent film in the half hour that is only for adults. There are clear differences between children who watch little or no TV and children who watch TV regularly in their leisure time.

If children sit in front of the television for too long, it is absolutely detrimental to their development. The children then stay focused on the television for hours and inevitably neglect their friends in the process.

While other kids frolic outside, these kids sit on the couch and stare at the television. Encourage them to go out and join sports clubs or play with friends. Encourage them to ride their bikes or try new hobbies. This way they will get off to sleep easier on an evening without the worry of blue light affecting them. 

Babies and toddlers in particular should not be sat in front of the television to keep them occupied. TV is very harmful to children at this age. Kindergarten and elementary school children can watch age-appropriate programs and films if the daily television time is reduced to a minimum. So whilst television can be great for all the family, it should not be the only facet to entertainment and enjoyment.

The Takeaway

Television has become a great go-to for families to gather in front of, like during the holidays. Even with that, children should be monitored for prolonged television watching. Yes, there are a ton of great shows out there, but they’re no substitute for some good ol’ family fun.


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