TV is a central part of many children‘s lives — even those that are still babies — and parents seem to be making the problem worse.
Contrary to the belief that parents struggle to restrict their kids‘ TV time, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation report that many parents use TV and other electronic media to keep kids occupied, relaxed and happy.
The report is based on a national survey of over 1,000 parents with children aged 6 months to 6 years. Along with finding that many parents believe the TV has educational benefits and can teach positive behaviors, the study found:
- 83 percent of children aged 6 and under watch TV, play video games or use the computer for about two hours a day
- 61 percent of babies 1 year and younger watch screen media for an average of 1.2 hours a day
- 90 percent of 4-6-year-olds watch screen media for two hours a day
The study found a correlation between parents‘ attitudes about TV and the amount of time their children spend watching it. For instance, children of those who believe TV helps learning watched an average of 27 minutes more a day than children whose parents believe TV mostly hurts.