Most toddlers love television so much they could easily get used to spending all day watching stuff on there. But should toddlers really watch television? Going television-free may seem like a radical idea in today's world, but there are certainly things to be said for it. If you still think the TV comes in handy sometimes, or you would like your toddler to watch educational programs, how much time a day should be the maximum?
During the early years of childhood, the brain is developing very fast, and lots of connections are being made. During this time, toddler benefit from stimulating, hands-on activities most. They also do well with plenty of physical activity. Some scientists say that the activities a young child is most involved with during the first few years of life train the brain. Television is a passive activity, during which the brain is "fed" information. It requires little thinking or effort, even if the program is educational.
Should toddlers watch television at all? Of course, that's up to the parent to decide. In moderation, there is probably no harm in watching TV. But, this should be limited and not an all-day activity. The same holds true for screen time on the computer, like watching videos on YouTube, playing games, or even learning to read online. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks that kids under two shouldn't watch TV at all, and that older children should spend a maximum of two hours "glued to the screen".
That's much less than the average western kid, who spends about three or four hours on average engaged in watching television. Avoid that temptation, and do more productive things with your kids instead. Ask yourself what you are sacrificing by sticking your toddler in front of the box. Sure, you can get the dishes done, read a book, or browse the web. But instead, your child could be crafting, could have a book read to them, could be playing in the park or helping you cook!