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Television and the Hearts/Minds of Children

            Children from three to five are often adorable, full of life, talkative, and curious. This is the time of their lives when they absorb and mimic almost everything they see. Preschoolers are very demanding, and they need plenty of attention, especially from their parents. With parents needing to balance work, chores, and other important matters they are involved with, some parents have learned that putting a child in front of a television helps buy time to accomplish what they need to do. Although some shows claim that they provide education and wholesome entertainment for preschoolers, parents may still wonder if all that time spent in front of a television is helping or hurting their children's development. Any show that children will watch can have a behavioral, mental, emotional effects on them (Peduk, 2012, p. 224). Television shows geared for preschoolers can have both positive and negative impacts on children's development because they provide educational content but also promote unhealthy habits.
             Benefits of Watching.
             Although children may associate watching television as a form of entertainment, there are some television shows that can help teach basic knowledge to children. "Sesame Street" teaches children colors, numbers, and letters. "Barney" entertains children through songs. "Dora, the Explorer" teaches basic Spanish that prepares children to accept and understand diversity. Shows like these can help children develop their memory skills. They have scenes that teach children how to act in certain scenarios, like what to do when they are upset. They help reinforce healthy habits by singing about tooth brushing and washing their hands. They sing about animals and the sounds they make. There are shows like "Caillou" that even parents can learn from by learning how Caillou's parents in that show react on certain situation like when a child misbehave or upset. Children can benefit a great deal from watching these shows if parents use these shows as a supplement to what they are teaching them.

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