Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do Educational T.V. Programs Actually Help Your Child Learn?

We have all seen the "educational" shows marketed for children today, advertised in just the way that make parents think showing their children these shows are necessary for their child to ever succeed in life. That is just not the truth. While studies have show that television shows and movies aimed at children that claim to help them learn (such as Sesame Street) do help teach basic children basic numbers and letters and some social interaction skills, extended amounts of even an educational program can stifle a preschool age child's development socially and creatively.
When preschool aged children interact with other children and are left of their own accord to play, they form very important and necessary social skills. Studies show a direct correlation between the amount of television watch by early childhood aged children and between how they score when assessed in a social situation. An added benefit to children playing away from the television includes not only higher scores in social situations that are assessed, but play, especially make-believe assist a child to develop more of the skills needed for logical thinking, sustained attention, memory, language, literacy and many many more skills actually needed to succeed in life. So next time you are tempted to turn on the television to use a little bit of electronic baby-sitting, stop and think about if your child needs more or less television exposure. 

Hannah Neely


  1. Hannah you have made a very good point. Some educational T.V. is not a bad thing however, I feel that when parents use T.V. for a baby sitter all the time, whether educational or not, it is detremental to children. Children need the interaction and attention from parents and siblings to help create good social skills. Watching social events on T.V. just does not fit. - Sam Dillé

  2. Very good post Hannah. Children can't learn from watching educational television alone. They have to have social interaction. Playing with other children and socializing helps their creativity and will improve their social skills as they get older. There are a lot of parents that use the T.V. as a babysitter. Put a movie or educational show on the T.V. and some kids can be entertained for hours, but I agree this is not the most beneficial way to educate children.

    Chuck Harper

  3. I definitely agree with this. Children need to interact with parents and is important to their development. Although some TV shows can be educational, parents should not rely on them. Children need to be exposed to other things than tv. Interacting with others is much more stimulating for the brain than any educational program. Stop watching.. and start PLAYING!

    Chelsea Duncan

  4. The only times anyone ever sees a nonviolent show is during the morning on disney channel or nick jr. Throughout the rest of the day, every channel seems to have some sort of violent or aggressive behavior. Nowadays child see so much violence in movies, video games, and their favorite tv shows.

    Even though studies do not show that children have hostile thoughts, they do become physically, emotionally, or verbally violent.


  5. As I was reading this blog, I was thinking baby-sitting. So many times parents turn on the television to a program the child wants to watch just so they can "get something done." It is not only the play interaction between children that is lost, but interaction between parent/caregiver and child. This is valuable lost time that can never be regained. One thing a person can never recover is time. Time is essential to children, especially when they are young.
    Susan Davis