Over the more than twenty years we have been involved in providing child care to the Perth area, we have learned a lot about children. We make it a point to stay current on all issues affecting children and learning. One issue that doesn’t change is how television affects children. We aren’t going to tell you to turn off your TV or present it as the “evil eye”: quite the opposite.
There are a lot of great programs on television that help your children learn and foster creativity. However, you have to understand how your children see television for them to benefit from it. Just like at our centres, we ask this question: “Is it better for the children?”
Babies and Toddlers
When babies or toddlers see a TV screen, they are attracted to the colours, the light and the motion. However, they don’t know how to interpret it at a young age. After a while, they learn to recognise familiar figures and voices due to repetition. Usually, though, they won’t be able to understand even the most simple of plots.
Sometimes, they will copy what they see on TV, such as clapping or singing. However, a baby or toddler has to expend a lot of effort to watch TV and usually won’t watch it for long. Beware: while they don’t understand advertisements, they will begin to remember a brightly-coloured logo. This can result in early “brand loyalty.”
Preschoolers are beginning to develop the ability to understand what they see on TV. They follow the visual aspects but may or may not be able to follow the story. As you probably know already, they really enjoy cartoons, even those that are made for adults.
A note of caution: toddlers can’t discern between reality and fantasy yet, especially if fantasy is presented as reality. They don’t understand such concepts as dreams or flashbacks and don’t understand digital enhancement. For example, if Superman flies, they believe he is really flying.
Contact Cuddles Childcare Centres for more information about child care in Perth and the suburbs, including Wellard.