Tuesday, July 05, 2005

From the "really?" department - TV is good and bad for tots

The Committed Sardine posted a comment on this Seattle Times article about TV and younger kids. It seems that this is one of those case studies I looked at in my Masters courses - media is seen to be good and bad, biased and unbiased ... . More recently it's been games that are the target of the reviews, so it's interesting to see some research done on "classic" media as well. I think we have all used the TV as a surrogate "friend" to provide background when alone or when eating to provide "a person". or as an escape after a hard day. This is the same thing that it does for younger kids according to the study - it can teach basic literacy and social skills if used properly at the right age (between 3 and 5 in the study). But it can also be detrimental to those skills if used too early. In the end, it's still up to parents to monitor what their children watch and do, regardless of the media that is being used to provide delivery - as Donald Shifrin, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Communications is quoted as saying: "All television teaches — the question is what we want our children to learn".