Children are exposed to a lot of things these days. There are printed materials, such as books, comics, and magazines. There are also a more advanced tools like the television, video games, and computers. All of these are influential in feeding the mind of kids and young people. They can also affect the social and personal behavior of every individual. The question is how effective are these in providing knowledge and enhancing cognitive development of children, particularly toddlers?
Toddlers are kids who are in the stage of exploration. They usually are curious, asking lots of questions and interested in many things. It is also the age in which they are easily taught and influenced with what they see, hear, taste, and touch.
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Most kids are distracted by visual effects. The TV is not new to them anymore. In fact, almost all homes have televisions. This is a type of medium that can provide a lot of things. Boys and girls can be glued to the cartoons they see on the TV screen. They dance and sing when they hear music.
While watching shows for kids can be entertaining, not all they see on the TV are that helpful. They can absolutely identify objects, learn how to socially interact with other people, know some dos and don’ts, and other things. But it’s also where they can learn how to be mean and rude, talk back, say bad words, and do bad stuff. It is important for every parent to always supervise their kids when they watch TV. They have to be very picky on what their kids watch.
In addition, kids must be only allowed to watch TV a few hours a day. Do not tolerate them to watch any shows for most of the day. The average hours of TV per day by experts should be only 3 to 4. Have the rest of the day be about other educational activities, such as reading books, coloring, listening to kids’ songs, etc.
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Computers and Video Games
Other media types where children can learn stuff are the computers. Most kids nowadays know how to turn on and off, and navigate laptops, PC desktops, and tablets. In fact, they are keener than adults. There is nothing wrong if you let them play games once in a while, but again, there should be constant monitoring.
Likewise, video games can be addictive. It is alright to have them some fun playing games. However, many games are violent, which are not good for kids, especially ages 3 to 5. They should play educational games, in which they can learn the English Alphabets, count numbers, identify colors, name objects, and solve puzzles.
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Let’s not forget the most basic way of teaching and educating kids. Long before TVs and computers, books and magazines have already been used. Parents must motivate their kids to read stories. This helps them create their own imaginations. Although books for children have pictures, what they read and learn from the story can still make them imagine or visualize things. That is a great stimulator of the mind.
As long as parents give the best for their kids, the use of media education through CDs, DVDs, TV shows, and the Internet is not that bad at all. This is why it is essential to monitor them whenever they watch TV or use gadgets.