Television and the Child Development


This study researches the influence of television on childhood development. These kids spent most of their time watching TV. The study regards the watching custom and the attitudes of the children of New Zealand. The study shows that children are spending a lot of time watching TV and that they esteem the characters and seek to be as their famous traits.

This study is also concentrated on the individuality and the regarding habit of the children. It also offers some suggestion on the profits of TV and at the same time discussing the consequences of television on childhood development.


By mid 1950s, watching of TV had obviously impacted people’s lifestyles. Television filled the lives instead of radio as one of the key media use, engaging the enormous mainstream of kid’s free time. TV has also caused the decrease of the amount of people reading the books and periodic. It has turned to be one of the key media used to amuse children. Early study aimed to assess impacts of television and at the same time conjecturing on its effect in the future.

In accordance with different research held by National Association of Education Broadcasters, the introduction of TV in the 1950’s demonstrating crimes and murder has led to frequent cases of juvenile illegal behavior.

Children study to know the world by the means of their senses which are at first inter-reliant. For instance seeing something new denotes little until the thing is held, recognized, manipulated and considered. This necessitates the will to move, to research, and to make.

The first seven years is the period when sensory and motor capabilities mature and through play the child works to bring an addition of movement and sensory knowledge. This is fundamental as a grounds for concentration and consideration. (MOE, 1996)

Children Development

A child studies speaking by the means of movement. At first sounds are associated by whole body movements. The child’s body shifts in response to the speech of other people. This goes on in a less clear way all through the life. By the means of TV, language is heard by the movement and feeling articulated and direct human contact is not communicated. The TV does not necessitate any response thus talking is disheartened.

Television tackles only a restricted area of cerebral performance. Brain waves created during TV viewing are mainly Alpha signals – those happening otherwise while sleeping. This guides to a trance like state, so that the brain gets data without any cognizant analysis or selective association.

TV watching extends dependence on the right hemisphere. As the brain expands, kids shift from a non-verbal ‘right’ hemisphere, dreaming awareness, to a verbal logical hemisphere. Many skills essential for interpreting, eg psychoanalysis, auditory association, phonics, symbol gratitude and handwriting, are connected with left hemisphere. Children who are reluctant in reading are frequently one-sided in their development and TV watching can augment this inequity. The sleep like state of Alpha brain waves creates poor attentiveness.

To be capable to make significant what is seen and heard sensory contribution from other spheres is significant – especially essential are sensations of touch and movement, which are intimately associated, for instance, with the illustration cortex. Without input to these spheres real watching or visual discernment can not be developed. Visual input or what is regarded does not turn to be meaningful without this completeness of experience in the kid. An incorporation of sensory experience is basic for further studying. TV rouses only vision and hearing and consequently promotes a sensory breakdown.

Relation to a curriculum

Parents are required to take control of the TV watching of preschoolers. A practical technique is to make a straightforward but firm weekly diagram as to what programs will be allowed and how much time generally nay be spent in watching.

Any child’s weekly schedule generally entails a certain quantity of time for school, snoozes (for young children), outdoor and indoor playing. There should not, consequently, be great quantities of unfilled time when the child sinks towards the TV.

Whenever probable in the general course of the day’s occasions, parents should with their children. Preschoolers appear to enjoy having their parents on hand to laugh with them and infrequently to clarify what is going on. Afterwards energetic discussions can have positive consequences: “Was that real or make-believe?” “Do people really act like that?”

Children require to discover their own powers and weaknesses in order to find completion as adults in both work and play. Watching TV does not lead to these detections; it only restricts children’s participation in those real-life actions that might offer their capabilities a genuine testing basement. And young children’s require for fantasy is satisfied far better by their own make-believe movements then by the adult made fantasies they are provided on TV.

They should scrutinize where children are at developmentally and set sensible aims that can be frequently discussed within parents. Communication with parents can appear in different manners. Some family daycare educators write notes in a daily diary about the child’s activities and development. Some early childcare centers offer books home tracing children’s progress, or post every day notes on bulletin planks.

Violence on Television

It has not yet been definitively confirmed that watching violence on TV will guide a child into violent performance. But even specialists agree that it is not good for a child to be pictured constantly, few hours a day, to TV violence. Research has revealed that such contact has at least four consequences: children may turn to be less responsive to the pain and suffering of others; they may appear to be more apprehensive of the world around them; they may be more probable to behave in an destructive manner toward other people; they may get an impractical feeling of the number of real violence that happens in the world.

One attractive hypothesis is that children select active aggressive programs as it gives them a sense of activity with all the feelings of involvement while taking pleasure in the security of total passivity. They are enjoying a imitation of activity in the expect that it will recompense for the actuality that they are engaged in a inactive, one-way knowledge.

At the preschool age (three to five years old), children start watching TV with an “discovering” loom. They vigorously search for notion in the content, but are still particularly attracted to glowing production characteristics, such as quick character movement, quick changes of prospect, and intense or unforeseen sights and sounds.

Due to the feature that TV violence is assisted by vivid production traits, preschoolers are inclined to seek out and pay concentration to violence – particularly cartoon. It is not the violence itself that makes the cartoons good-looking to preschoolers, but the supplementary vivid production traits. With this favorite for cartoons, infants are being exposed to a huge number of violent acts in their watching. Furthermore, they are improbable to be capable to put the violence in background, since they are likely to miss any delicacy conveyed mitigating data regarding motivation and results. Preschoolers behave more forcefully than usual in their play after watching any high-action thrilling TV program, but particularly after watching violent TV.

Effects of the media

Television is a significant form of general traditions. In 2003, about 85 percent of people in New Zealand owned on average one color television, and 61.2 percent had two. Television plays is one of the tools that help in improving the adolescent behavior and their opinions societies and social interaction. Television enables children to gain perspective to the liberal social world. Children watch television to describe effective roles and behavior of people in the society. Robert J. S., (1982) observed that television portrays girls as more passive than boys. In most cases they are mostly concern with glooming and dating. Programs on television such as soap operas reveal women as being mostly acted upon as compared to men. In this study we will investigate what children like watching on television and look at how such programs affects their behavior. According to Merriam, B. & Brockett, (1996) children prefer viewing programs that are not intended for them. Examples of such programs are actions that are mainly meant for adult people. Caplovitz, A.G. (2002) also observed that most people spent on average three hours in a day watching television. In this case, the study will also investigate the negative effects of watching television programs.

Base from this literature we noted that child development is influenced by what they are exposed to and experienced as they grew up. The programs they watch changed their attitudes and understanding of the world. The study also focuses the effects of watching television on social behavior of children and how this affects what they have in their lunch box. The study will look at how best the curriculum could be developed so as to suit various need of the child as did in the Whariki curriculum.


This study reveals that television have a serious effects on the child opinion and perception of the social relation. Children seek to find their places in the society and they watch media to define and elaborate their roles. Educative materials are very rare on televisions compared to happiness and fun advertisings to the viewer. Parents and teachers should guide their children understanding and interpreting the advertising from television so as to avoid negative information.

The parents/guardians should guide their children on the kind of programs that are good to be watched so as to avoid mystification and imitations of some of the negative behaviors as exhibited by some of the characters in the programs. The analysis of the results also reveals that few people enjoy watching educational programs and hence the reason why educational programs are not given enough time as expected in television programs.

Research Question

It is clear from the above that television has an enormous impact on children development. In such case, the following questions should be considered in this research; a) how long do children view television in a day? b) What do children do when they view television? c) What do children view on television? d) What effects does television have on the social behavior of the child? And how advertisement influence what they have in their lunch box? The aim of these questions would be to investigate if television influences the child learning behavior outside the classroom.


The participants were one hundred and seventy children. Each group contains different number of children that is 20 children between the age group 0 and 3, 60 children between the age group 3 and 5, 90 children between the age group 5and 8.

Regarding ethical considerations of the research, it is necessary to point out, that the research is held with the consent of children (age group 5-8) and their parents.


The questionnaires were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data within sample of the population chosen. This instrument was adapted since it allows respondents to express themselves when answering the questionnaires (Robert J. S., 1982). In this study two types of questionnaires are administered, one for the children (mainly for parents) between age group 0 and 5 and the other type is meant to be filled by the parents/guardians of those children between the age group 5 and 8 years. Thereafter questionnaires were arranged in the content of the manners of the question asked.

The last version of the questionnaires entailed two sections. The first section covers questions such as, age, gender, education, academic level of parents and the number of television at home. The second section contains questions which are categorized under, habits of television watching, impacts of watching television, and individual opinions concerning television viewing.


The participant in the age group 5 and 8 were given questionnaires in their classrooms. Participants were given proper procedure and directives on genuineness and sovereign filling of the questionnaires. The participants under five were to answers the questionnaires with the help of their parents/guardians.


The result found that 10.4 percent of the mothers of the respondents are primary school leavers, 13.6 percent attended up to secondary level, 28 percent attained graduate level, while 6.4 percent attained post graduate levels. On the other hand about 24 percent respondent’s fathers attained primary education level, 9.2 percent secondary school level, 36.8 percent high school level, 36 percent graduate level, and 8.4 percent attained post graduate level.


This study investigated the watching habits and the individual opinions on television on children between age 0 and 8. From the data analysis it is obvious that approximately 80 percent of people view television between 2 and 6 hours a day. Its also evident from this result that majority ate snacks during television viewing. The analysis on the negatives effect of television to an individuals found that prolonged watching of television causes obesity, hypertension and poor body model. According to Dr. Manfred Spitzer, about 20,000 television audiences die every year due to prolonged television viewing. (Merriam, B. & Brockett, 1996)

The parents/guardians should guide their children on the kind of programs that are good to be watched so as to avoid mystification and imitations of some of the negative behaviors as exhibited by some of the characters in the programs. The analysis of the results also reveals that few people enjoy watching educational programs and hence the reason why educational programs are not given enough time as expected in television programs.


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Bandura, A. & Ribes-Inesta, E., (1976). The investigation of crime and violence. New Jersey: The Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, INC Publishers.

Brynat, J. et al., (1994). Effects of Television; N.J Hove: Erlbaum Hillsdale.

Clair, J. and Scwets, R. L., (2003). Between the Lions; classroom tool. The reading teacher, Vol. 56, p. 656-659.

Evra, J. V. (1990). Television and Child Development /. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Manley-Casimir, M. E. & Luke, C. (Eds.). (1987). Children and Television: A Challenge for Education. New York: Praeger Publishers.

Ministry of Education (MOE) (1996) Early Childhood Curriculum – Te Whäriki. Wellington; Learning Media.

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