Can TV be Good for Toddlers?

Posted by Claire Coshan on June 24, 2015

Letting your children watch television has been a controversial issue since television was invented. For years, people have debated over whether or not television can ever really be good for children. And the issue has never been more delicate than in this, the digital age when parents will often park their children in front of one of the three main “electronic babysitters” (TV, phone and computer). But while some people firmly believe no TV shows can ever be beneficial to children, there are others who will defend certain programs, stating that they can in fact help their children learn.

There are specific programs and even specific TV channels that have been designed purely for small babies. Scientists have shown that from an early age, bright colors, lights and loud, high pitched sounds can have a stimulating effect on a baby’s brain, it has been shown to increase activity and lead to better hand-eye coordination and a more mentally active child.

When your child becomes a little older and they start to understand more, whether or not TV will be good for them will entirely depend on the kind of shows that they are watching. Cartoons have come a long way recently and there are very few cartoons for young children that are not informative in some way.

The bright colors keep their attention and the show itself will educate them. A prime example is Dora the Explorer. The show is filled with bright colors and memorable characters that appeal to children, and while the kids (and sometimes the adults, too) are being entertained, they are being educated at the same time. They learn about languages and animals and the habitats that they live in.

Not all TV shows are beneficial; some shows are simply entertaining, and while this is great, if it is not stimulating for a child’s mind, it can have negative consequences. They can waste a great deal of time in front of the television that could be spent better elsewhere. Children need constant mental stimulation whether this in the form of education or play. this helps their brains grow and turns them into well rounded individuals.

Television will always be a contentious issue, but in moderation and with the right programs it could potentially be highly beneficial to your child to allow them to watch certain shows for small amounts of time. Watching shows with meaning and value is one thing, wasting time in front of the TV is another.