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Is watching TV bad for children (2)? Вредно ли детям смотреть телевизор?

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Television has increased the speed at which news travels and it can bring situations and images into our homes that previous generations would not have had the opportunity or regret to witness. Television is commonly criticized as being bad for children that an important fact sometimes gets overlooked. In my personal opinion some types of television viewing may actually enhance children"s intellectual development.

Television contains an enormous variety of forms and content. The effects of television viewing depend on program content and genre. According to a research, young children who spent a few hours a week watching educational programs such as Sesame Street, Mister Rogers" Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Wizard"s World and 3-2-1 Contact had higher academic test scores 3 years later than those who did not watch educational programs. On the other hand, children who watched many hours of entertainment programs and cartoons had lower test scores than those who watched fewer hours of such programs. Good educational programs can provide lasting benefits to children.

Children are most likely to become actively engaged with television content that is neither too easy nor too difficult to comprehend, that is, content that provides some challenges, but also allows a child to gain a sense of mastery. Just like our muscles, the brain gets stronger when it is used, and atrophies when it is not used. It seems that lack of use also leaves it vulnerable to degeneration later in life.

Of course, there are some bad sides for children to watch TV. Our TV-watching children increasingly view life as an entertainment extravaganza, in which they yearn to play a starring role, and here the nasty content of so much modern broadcasting comes into play. Besides, it is hard to watch an evening of TV without encountering unspeakable violence, whose perpetrators are celebrated. Again, the effects of television viewing depend on program content and genre, and parents should teach their children on choosing the right TV program to watch.

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