Many toddlers like to watch TV and many parents enjoy the ‘quietness’ when their toddler is happily watching television. But how much TV is too much? And should we put a limit on how much television our toddlers are exposed to every day? Are my children watching too much TV?
New research into how TV watching can affect toddlers is suggesting that exposing toddlers to too much television may negatively affect a young child’s attention span and may even cause Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Then there is the physical aspect of toddlers spending too much time in front of the television. According to experts, toddlers should spend at least one hour a day being active, but instead many modern children, who, being clued to the TV, are doing just 20 minutes of physical exercise a day.
So how do we cut out TV time amongst toddlers?
Instead of turning the TV on, put on a CD. Many toddlers will love listening to music and dancing around the room, a healthier alternative to the television.
Distract your toddler’s attention from the television by reading him a book or doing a puzzle with him and don’t let the television be running in the background. Always turn the TV off when nobody is watching it.
Spend more time outside with your toddler. Let him run around and explore, whilst introducing him to new wildlife and plants.
Never let your toddler eat his meals in front of the television. Always eat meals together as a family around the table.
Offer your toddler rewards for not watching the television such as a piece of fruit or a healthy breakfast bar!