Who said television was bad for kids?

2011-10-21 07:35

Ispend a fair amount of time watching TV. And most often than not, I watch it with my three-year-old nephew and niece.

For a while, I was quiet happy being the “boss of the remote”, watching whatever I want, occasionally switching to kiddies’ channels whenever the twins started revolting.

All that bossiness stopped the day my impressionable nephew yelled out “shit!” in frustration. We were shocked, but really not surprised. By then, he had already started repeating everything we say – including things we said about our neighbours, in front of them.

That’s when I realised the true power of TV. Since then, I have become a huge fan of the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Kids Co, Cartoon Network and CBeebies.

Not only has my nephew’s language been shrunk back to kiddie size, he’s also learning loads more things, like koala bears and kangaroos, even though I doubt he’ll be seeing them in real life any time soon.

So, our daily TV routine starts in the morning with the twins watching Teletubbies while my sister and I ready them for school. They get to learn about random children things with the help of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. Very cute to watch.

Then there’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is great at the end of the day when we need to keep the terrible two inside the house.

They have also fallen in love with Sponge Bob Squarepants (my doing), Cow and Chicken and Jungle Junction, which has a very catchy tune.

The other show they like watching, mainly because it’s interactive is Go, Diego, Go! and Dora the Explorer, who constantly asks them questions (with pauses to allow them to answer).

Since watching all these programmes with the kids, I have witnessed them count to 20 and beyond, I have listened to them sing along the ABC song (and I’m sure they don’t know the significance yet but it makes me proud to listen to them).

They have also learnt some really fun nursery rhymes that have come in handy when they’re bored. And most importantly, they have learnt to speak in full sentences, which now means they also know words to demand whatever they want.

You might think they are watching too much TV, but the lack of excessive adverts and ads about unhealthy foodstuff means those things – like burgers and chips – are not in their vocabulary. I’m pretty sure they picked those up at their preschool.

So, all in all, gone are the days when people still believed that TV is bad for children. With the right programmes and guidance from adults, TV can help you give your child after-preschool lessons without them even realising it.

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