Impact of Television on Children – Advantages and Disadvantages

7 min read

Written by Smita Srivastava

Smita Srivastava

Impact of television on children can be both good and bad

Impact of television on children is quite significant. It influences their minds, shapes their views and actions. Although excessive television watching can be detrimental, it is essential to recognize the value of educational programs that offer meaningful learning opportunities. The exposure of young ones to violence, sexual content, and improper conduct can lead to desensitization and heightened hostility. Furthermore, an over-reliance on screens can lead to sedentary behaviors and below-average academic performance.

To strike a balance with other activities such as reading, outdoor play, and social interaction, it becomes crucial for parents and responsible adults to oversee and regulate screen time and television content. By promoting appropriate viewing habits, you can minimize any adverse effects and maximize the advantages of television for children.

In This Article

What Role Does Television Play in the Life of a Child?

Television screen with multiple scenes

Television has undeniably established itself as a prominent part of modern society, greatly impacting the lives of children. Television affects a child’s life in both good and bad facets. While indulging in television programs can stimulate creativity, impart knowledge, and enhance interpersonal bonds, it also raises legitimate concerns surrounding excessive screen time, exposure to inappropriate content, and insufficient engagement in physical activities.

One of the many advantages of television is its potential to enrich a child’s education. Countless programs specifically designed for children strive to promote creativity, enhance cognitive abilities, and impart valuable lessons. Moreover, documentaries and similar shows play a crucial role in expanding children’s perspectives by showcasing diverse cultures and lifestyles.

Television plays a crucial role in fostering social connections. The characters in kids’ TV shows often form bonds with young viewers, promoting a sense of belonging and friendship. Moreover, it offers a common ground for students to engage in conversations and explore shared interests. Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to a predominantly lazy lifestyle, thereby promoting various health concerns such as obesity and diminished physical prowess.

Additionally, children may encounter offensive content or harmful messages, both of which could profoundly influence their development and behavior. Hence, it becomes imperative for parents and other caregivers to closely monitor and regulate their children’s television consumption, ensuring that the programming aligns with their age and is adequately balanced with alternate activities.

Advantages of Watching Television For Child

Watching TV can promote a love for sports

Television plays a significant role in the life of every child. From beholding the enchantment of superheroes to immersing themselves in weekend horrors, children undergo a captivating journey through TV, creating their own little universe. Watching television has its own pros and cons for children. Some positive impact of television on children are-

1. Helps to Learn New Skills

Most people may agree that there is a plethora of educational content available where children can learn a lot about a variety of topics. The benefits of educational programming for children watching TV are undeniable, ranging from learning about the environment to learning about the animal kingdom to even learning English. Additionally, particular television networks only air children’s programming with an educational and scientific theme. Kids can learn new things from these programs, and some activities may increase their curiosity.

2. Provides Entertainment

The most straightforward technique to entertain and occupy the children while you’re working or performing household chores may very well be to let them watch TV. Play their preferred program while you complete your tasks. Most of the programs are both enjoyable and instructional, and may teach your child a thing or two while also entertaining them.

3. Helps to Gain Knowledge About Sports

Sports are a fantastic method to encourage your kids to lead healthy lives and are excellent for their development as well. But what if your child does not know the sport? Watching sports on television is a really good method to make children like sports.

In today’s times, watching a game has never been simpler. Your child may choose their favourite sport on TV, which offers a reasonably comprehensive option. This makes it simpler for children to get fond of the sport, and with that, comes a desire to learn and participate in it.

4. Learn About Different Cultures

Does your child like to explore new places and travel? Educate children about the marvels across the globe through travel shows on TV and help them expand their knowledge about other cultures and traditions. Learning about different countries and cultures will improve your child’s social skills and development. It will also improve their knowledge, and promote holistic thinking and amicable interactions with their peers.

5. Fosters Creativity

Creativity is the foundation of TV shows, and can be found in everything from food to music to drama to arts and crafts shows. Children’s minds are stimulated by watching these different shows, and they get inspired to take up a new hobby or make art etc. by watching these programs. They may even decide to learn music or dance just by watching these shows.

Disadvantage of Watching Television For Child

Television also has a negative impact on children

In today’s times, television plays a vital role in providing both entertainment and knowledge. Excessive and unregulated television watching can prove detrimental, especially for young ones. Here are a few negative impact of television on children are-

1. Encourages Aggressive Behavior

Television serves as both a source of information and a means of entertainment. However, it is essential to acknowledge that young children may struggle to differentiate between positive and negative content. They also tend to consume any material that captures their attention. Consequently, Research states that when children are exposed to violent behavior, even if it is portrayed in seemingly harmless cartoons, they may unknowingly engage in similar actions without understanding the potential consequences. 

[Read : Negative Effects Of Watching Violent Cartoons On Kids]

2. May Restrict Their Imagination

When kids are at school and engrossed in their books, it’s critical to expose them to various activities. But those activities should not mean letting them watch TV excessively. Too much television viewing may diminish a child’s cognitive growth and limit their capacity for creative thought. They can gain weight and see a decline in their creative abilities if they spend most of their time watching television.

3. Makes Them Unsocial

When children spend excessive time in front of television, it can lead to social isolation as they have fewer opportunities to interact with friends and family face-to-face. Consequently, they may struggle to acquire essential social skills such as empathy, collaboration, and conflict resolution.

4. Affects Academic Progress

Spending excessive hours indulging in television watching could undermine children’s educational progress. The duration allocated for completing school assignments and studying diminishes significantly when individuals invest substantial time glued to their TV screens. Moreover, the content children are exposed to on television is not always educational or intellectually stimulating, which in turn compromises their mental development and obstructs their academic progress.

Should Babies and Toddlers Watch TV?

A toddler watching TV

For years, parents and experts have engaged in an ongoing debate regarding the suitability of allowing infants and toddlers to be exposed to television. Despite the temptation of using this medium for pleasure or distraction, research shows that excessive television viewing in the first few years of life may actually hinder a child’s development.

Proponents of television programs designed for babies and young children argue that carefully selected shows can provide educational content, promote language growth, and enhance visual and auditory awareness. Moreover, they claim that outstanding programming can facilitate learning moments for both children and parents by encouraging interaction between them. Opponents, on the other hand, stress the value of giving young children interactive and hands-on experiences. 

Furthermore, According to PubMed, prolonged screen time during early childhood has been associated with potential negative impacts, including delayed language acquisition, reduced ability to concentrate, and disrupted sleep patterns. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children below 18 months refrain from viewing any television, while those between 18 and 24 months should only be exposed to a limited quantity of premium content. Parents must strike a harmonious balance as responsible guardians in light of conflicting views. 

Prioritizing interactive activities is crucial for parents who wish to foster their children’s overall well-being and healthy growth. Children should watch activities promoting physical, cognitive, and social development. Also, watching television should not take over other activities like playing, studies, hobbies etc. Parents should keep a close watch on what their child is watching and for how long. It is advisable that parents themselves choose TV shows carefully and limit the screen time for their children. Remember, everything has pros and cons, it’s how you manage and use it to extract the best out of it, is what counts.

[Read : How to Break Your Toddle’s TV Addiction?]


1. How Long Should Kids Watch Television?

According to the guidelines for screen time, young children should not use screens until they are 2-year-old. For youngsters 2 to 5 years old, no more than 1 hour of screen time every day should be allowed. For kids and teenagers aged 5 to 17, no more than 2 hours of screen use each day should be permitted.

2. At What Age Should Children Watch TV?

Children between the ages of 18 and 24 months can begin to use a screen with an adult. This age group of children can learn when an adult is present to reinforce teachings. Children between the ages of 2 and 3 years are permitted to watch up to 1 hour per day of excellent educational programs.

Read Also: Can Social Media Use Be Positive for Mental Health?

Smita Srivastava, Bachelors (BA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Delhi University
Masters (MA) in Mass Media and Mass Communication from Kurukshetra University

With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.

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