How does watching TV affect my child?

Posted on October 14, 2012 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments

"A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. 
Prof Mitch Blair, officer for health promotion at the college, said: "Whether it's mobile phones, games consoles, TVs or laptops, advances in technology mean children are exposed to screens for longer amounts of time than ever before. We are becoming increasingly concerned, as are paediatricians in several other countries, as to how this affects the rapidly developing brain in children and young people."
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also issued guidance, saying "media – both foreground and background – have potentially negative effects and no known positive effects for children younger than 2 years". The Canadian Paediatric Society says no child should be allowed to have a television, computer or video game equipment in his or her bedroom."
- The Guardian, Tuesday 9th October 2012


It is true that the profileration of mobile devices and technology has made it almost impossible for children to be isolated from it. At the same time, this has also become a contentious issue amongst paediatricians and education experts. We are seeing an increasing number of studies, similar to the one above, that call for parents to be more mindful of the amount of TV they are exposing their young children to. 


Without a doubt, the quality of children's television today has improved. However, this needs to be balanced against the needs of a child at that tender age.  In the same study above, Dr Aric Sigman, the author of the study says that the first three years of a child's life are critical for brain development and it is highly pertinent that children at this age interact with their parents eye-to-eye, and not with a screen. 


It is easy when you're busy and in need of some quiet time to leave your child in front of the TV or computer watching programmes by themselves. It definitely does the job of keeping them focused on something instead of pestering you for another snack or requiring your attention. But the easy way out for you may not necessarily be the best way out for your child. 


The next time you're tempted to place your child in front of the TV, think about how much more fun you might have spending quality time with him or her by interacting face-to-face with them. 

Continue reading →

How often should I read to my child?

Posted on August 27, 2012 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments

‘If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent – and every adult caring for a child – read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.’

Credit: Mem Fox, author of beloved children's books like "Possum Magic" and "Where is the Green Sheep" 

Mem Fox says that when children spend 15 minutes each day reading or being read to, it will help them become excellent readers, writers and thinkers. This reading experience helps them do well at school and beyond.  If you think about it, 15 minutes isn't a long time. That's probably the amount of time (or a fraction of what) you spend on Facebook everyday. 


Having said that, there's no generally recommended guidelines on how often or for how long you should be reading to your child. It does depend on the nature and temperament of each child. Some may get easily distracted so just getting them to stay still for 5 minutes could be a challenge. Others could enjoy the experience of being read to so much that they will ask you for it on their own initiative.


However, as with all habits, it is good to make it an everyday event. Just like brushing your teeth or taking a bath, once you get it into your child's head that this is something your family practises as a daily habit, they are more likely to continue with this habit when they grow older. And, it becomes easier for you, as a parent to work this into your daily routine as well. Once you and your partner have established that reading aloud to your child/children is a habit you would both like to work on, you can then make a conscientious effort to make it happen. Rather than telling yourself, "I'll read to them if I'm not too busy tonight", setting it as a habit becomes a commitment that you would feel responsible for. 


And as we have mentioned in our earlier posts, every little bit helps. Even if it's for just a few minutes every day! 

Continue reading →

When should I start reading to my child?

Posted on August 22, 2012 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments

It's never too early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading aloud daily to your baby starting at 6 months of age — about the time when he'll really begin to enjoy looking at books with you. But Jim Trelease, longtime read-aloud expert and author of the Read Aloud Handbook, says that you can start when your child's a newborn. No matter what your baby's age, of course, reading provides a great opportunity for cuddling and bonding.
Credit: Baby Center (Click here for the original article)


There's no time that's too early! In fact, when it comes to reading to your child, the earlier it is, the better. Not only does it help stimulate your baby's brain (from as early as 2 months), it is also a great way to help you bond with your new born! 


So whether your kid is 6 months old or a few days old, start reading to him or her now! 

Continue reading →

Scroll to top