A report indicated that many children between 7 and 11 spend too much time watching television and/or play video games. How does the problem affect the children, their families and society? What measures can be taken to control it?
Laurence J. Peter has rightly said that ‘Television has changed the child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.’ After coming home from school, children spend a lot of time in watching TV and playing video games. In the following paragraphs, I shall discuss the effects of this excessive TV viewing on the children, their families and society and also suggest some ways forward.
7-11 years is a crucial period of childhood after which children step into adolescence. This is the time when children develop the maximum, physically as well as mentally. The more time children spend on watching TV and playing video games, the less time they have for studying, exploring, playing and interacting with parents and friends. In addition, excessive TV viewing can result in obesity as kids are inactive and tend to eat junk food while watching TV. They are turning into couch potatoes. What is more, there is a lot of violence on TV which should not be watched by children. Communication has come down drastically within the family and even among children of the neighbourhood.
It is irrefutable that TV is one of the best ways to entertain and inform and even playing video games introduces children to technology which is the need of the hour. However, all this is good in moderation as there are lots of active ways of entertainment such as playing games or doing sports, which are actually much healthier. Moreover, children need interaction with the family and society for their holistic development.
The solutions are simple but the onus is largely on the parents. They should give quality time to their children and ration their TV viewing hours. Even the time to play video games should be set properly. Outdoor activities should be encouraged and neighbourhood societies should be formed where children can play outdoor games with each other. Parks should be maintained properly so that children have a safe place to play outdoors. To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that television and video games, in moderation, can be a good thing. However, excess of everything is bad and therefore I believe parents should set viewing limits to ensure their children do not spend too much time watching TV.