|Image Credit: Magic Moonlight|
“TV rots the senses in the head! It kills the imagination dead! It clogs and clutters up the mind! It makes a child so dull and blind. He can no longer understand a fantasy, A fairyland! His brain becomes as soft as cheese! His powers of thinking rust and freeze!” Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, By Roald Dahl, 1964
If you have wondered about the effects of TV on a child's ability to read here is a wonderful article entitled "Strangers in Our Homes: TV and Our Children’s Minds" by Susan R. Johnson, M.D. In the article, she sites research, which explains just how TV can alter a child's brain and eye muscles that are essential for reading. Here is the section of the article that made the most impression on us, here at The Things You Can Read:
"Children watching TV do not dilate their pupils, show little to no movement of their eyes (i.e., stare at the screen), and lack the normal saccadic movements of the eyes (a jumping from one point to the next) that is critical for reading. The lack of eye movement when watching television is a problem because reading requires the eyes to continually move from left to right across the page. The weakening of eye muscles from lack of use can’t help but negatively impact the ability and effort required to read. In addition, our ability to focus and pay attention relies on this visual system."
Dr. Johnson's article made us look into this question even further. It just so happens that MSNBC reported the results of a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Children’s Digital Media Centers in which the following is stated:
“Watching TV is far inferior to playing with toys, being read to or playing with adults or talking with parents,” said Dr. Henry Shapiro, chairman of developmental and behavior pediatrics at the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Watching TV without a parent is a junk experience, especially for young children.”
Now, we have to admit that The Things You Can Read is biased, since we do not have commercial TV in our home, but you do the research and make-up your own minds. Check out the full article "Strangers in Our Homes: TV and Our Children’s Minds" by Susan R. Johnson, M.D. and the MSNBC post entitled "Kids’ TV use may impact reading: Study finds developmental difficulties in some children" Do you have TV in your home? How does it impact your reading life? How does it impact your child's reading life? What would life be like if you took a TV break? Let us, here at The Things You Can Read, know what you think!
The Things You Can Read
The Things You Can Read
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