By: Roseanna Sonnenfeld
TV usage is the highest it's been in eighty years among kids aged 2 to 11, according to new research. Nielsen findings show that children ages 2 to 5 are watching TV for an average of more than 32 hours a week, while those ages 6 to 11 are viewing more than 28 hours of TV weekly. These stats include live and recorded TV, as well as VCR and game console usage.
This is a really sad statistic if you ask me. What happened to playing outside, finger painting, making projects, and running around with friends on the playground? I figured the numbers were up there but this is really high for this age group. I guess I am used to the old fashioned way of kids having fun, which meant going outside and hanging out or making messes. I probably feel this way also because I grew up on a farm where we spent a lot of our time outside doing things. I have an older brother, so when we were little we spent time outside digging in the dirt or playing make believe while helping our parents around the farm.
On the other side of it, I also can see why the numbers for this are high. I babysit two kids for a few hours every afternoon that are in this age group. After we get back from school, have a snack, and do homework, there are a lot of times when it is much easier to just go sit in front of the TV set and watch a recorded show than to get coats and shoes on again and head outside to ride bikes around. So I assume, like this example, for a lot of people it is much easier to just tell the kids, "Go put on a show and watch TV," than it is to actually have to do something active. But instead there needs to be an effort made, for the benefit of the kids, when it comes to telling them to "go play."
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