For many of us, watching television is part of our daily lives. We have been watching it since we were young, and many households now own more than one TV.
But if each member of your family has a TV in their bedroom, and you even have one in your kitchen, you might be wondering if watching so much TV could be a bad influence for your children.
After all, if they spend hours in front of the TV and never get any exercise, it could be bad for their health. On top of that, you should monitor the programs they watch to make sure they don’t watch violent or sexually explicit content.
However, when watched with moderation, TV can have lasting positive impacts on children as well as on adults. The beautiful television in your living room, placed on a gorgeous flat screen TV stand, is actually a tool with lots of opportunities available.
Here are seven reasons why TV is not a bad influence:
Reason #1: TV is always there to entertain and engage the whole family
Of course, TV has always been a popular form of entertainment. Children of all ages enjoy watching cartoons or educational programs, while adults usually prefer movies, series, or sports. Even watching the news or looking at funny ads can entertain us when we are bored.
Children who keep jumping up and down and running around the house out of boredom can quiet down if you get them to sit in front of the television. Depending on what they watch, the TV could keep them engaged and teach them a lot of useful and interesting things.
Reason #2: TV allows us to relax and to relieve our stress
Watching TV allows us to relax and to relieve our stress is another important reason why TV is not a bad influence. Adults go through a lot of stress, but children do as well. After a long day, sitting in front of a TV screen to watch cartoons or a movie can be a lot of fun, which provides the whole family with a healthy way to relieve stress.
Stress left unmanaged can lead to anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, and other health problems, which is why taking some time to do things that make us feel good daily is so important.
Watching TV can help us relax, but exercising, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, and talking or writing about what is stressing us is also necessary.
Reason #3: TV can teach us a lot of things
Many educational programs are aimed at children of different age groups and can teach them problem-solving, analytic thinking, math, geometry, and more. Some kids will be more likely to remember some piece of information that their favourite TV character has teached them, than something that was teached to them at school.
Even adults can learn a lot of things while watching TV, whether they like documentaries or cooking shows.
And if your children are at an age where they are curious about what is going on in the world, watching the news channel with them will help you educate them and keep them updated.
Reason #4: TV can inspire us to try new things
It’s no wonder that learning new things can inspire us to try new things. After watching an engaging cooking show, you might feel an urge to get up and whip up a delicious meal.
This is especially true for children. The shows they watch on TV could inspire them to draw, paint, craft something, and explore their creativity. Learning about famous musicians, dancers, designers, writers, scientists, astronauts, activists, or politicians could help your children figure out what they would like to do when they grow up, and give them ideas on how they could work to make the world a better place.
Reason #5: TV can expose us to other cultures
A lot of people fear or dislike what they don’t know. Some TV shows expose us to other cultures, allow us to explore different parts of the world, and teach us about the lifestyles and traditions of people who may not look exactly like us, but who we can learn to respect and appreciate.
Watching TV can even inspire us to travel to another country, to taste international cuisine, or to learn a foreign language.
Reason #6: TV can help children develop different skills
Even some cartoons that don’t seem to feature any educational content can teach a lot of things to children. By watching what their favourite TV characters are doing, children can learn how to navigate difficult situations, how to interact with their peers, how to manage their emotions in a healthy way, and even how to handle emotional trauma.
Some TV shows can motivate children to develop their imagination and to think more independently.
Reason #7: TV can encourage children to move
Finally, while watching too much TV will keep your children sedentary, watching and learning about different sports or physical activities might spark their interest.
If, for example, your child shows an interest in hockey or ballet after watching a show about it on TV, encourage them to take lessons. They will then spend less time sitting in front of a screen, and more time moving their bodies, all thanks to a TV show they watched.