TV has a bit of a bad reputation in the parenting world. A lot of people think that it’s a lazy parent’s crutch and sitting your kids in front of the TV is damaging to their health and development. While it’s true that watching TV all day every day can be bad for their health because it discourages exercise and more engaging mental activity, TV isn’t as bad as people make out. There are a lot of benefits to watching TV shows and movies that you might not have considered before. Next time somebody tries to make you feel guilty about putting your kids in front of the TV, remember some of these good things that it can do for them.
Exposes Them To Different Cultures
It’s important that your children are exposed to different cultures so that they understand that differences between people are not a bad thing and that everybody’s culture should be respected equally. It’s the best way to teach your kids to be tolerant of other races and religions which is especially important at the minute. Travel is one of the ways that you can do this but it’s not always possible to take your kids on regular vacations and TV can fill the gap sometimes. Watching documentaries about other cultures is great, but just watching shows and movies that have been made in other countries is good exposure. Say, for example, they were streaming anime programs from Japan. They’re cartoons so they’re not exactly giving a factual account of the country, but there are still a lot of cultural elements in there that are wildly different to their own, so it’s a good learning experience.
Learning about these cultural differences through watching TV means that they’ll understand and respect the culture of people that they meet in their day to day lives.
It Can Be Educational
Most TV shows aren’t educational but a lot of the ones aimed at children have a strong focus on teaching them. Shows like Dora The Explorer, for example, help with basic math and spelling. It’s a good way to get children to practice things like that while entertaining them as well. You’ll find it far easier to get them to engage with an educational TV show than you would sitting them down and asking them to learn times tables. Documentaries are another great source of education which engage them with their storytelling and help them to learn about history, nature, and politics without finding it boring.
It Inspires Them To Try New Things
Getting your kids to try new things can be difficult because they often feel like you’re pushing them toward things they don’t want to do when you suggest activities. They’re far more likely to be engaged in a new activity if they’ve come up with the idea themselves. Watching their favorite characters on TV shows get involved in sports or other activities can give them ideas for new hobbies that they can pursue. Children’s TV shows tend to show their characters engaging in beneficial activities so it’s a good place for your kids to find inspiration.
It Encourages Them To Read More
It’s often said that TV and movies are bad news for books because kids are just watching instead of reading, but that’s not always the case. There are a lot of great movies based on books and watching those movies can inspire them to read the originals. The Harry Potter books are a great example of this. The first book was released 11 years ago but it’s still loved by so many children that are introduced to it through the movies. Getting kids interested in reading is very important but it can be difficult, films and TV shows inspired by books are a good inroad for them so you can get them reading more.
Positive Role Models
In adult TV shows and movies, there are a lot of bad role models that you shouldn’t expose your children to, but kids shows have a strong focus on good role models. They’re often other young people that your kids can relate to so they’re more likely to emulate their behavior. Modern kids shows are often tackling important issues like the environment, racism, bullying and all sorts of other lessons that your children need to learn. It can be difficult for you to explain these complex adult issues to them directly but through cartoons and relatable characters, it’s a lot easier for them to understand.
So, TV isn’t all bad but you still need to be careful what you let them watch. Exposing them to adult themes when they’re too young can be confusing so it’s best to stick to kids shows.