Most children love television. This is a commonly known fact and it is an issue that parents can struggle with. While many people enjoy television, there are a lot of negative things said about the damaging effects that too much television watching can have on the brain, especially those of developing children. Fortunately, a lot of television programs have adapted to this concern and there are more and more educational shows available than ever before, especially for individuals with satellite TV. The large array of channels means that parents and children can watch programs together, bonding and learning at the same time.
Channels like Disney and Nickelodeon have cartoons that teach children how to count, read, and even learn Spanish. Even programs that do not have blatantly obvious lessons like adding and subtracting still try to teach children a lesson. Many shows are filled with entertaining stories that revolve around a moral that they want to convey to the child audience. Having a giant purple dinosaur that they love tell them to be nice to other children in high definition will get the point across much better than having a parent or teacher lecture them about right and wrong.
Aside from cartoons there are plenty of educational channels that children and adults can both benefit from. Watching the “Planet Earth” series together could open up the eyes of everyone in the family to different parts of the world and animals that they never knew existed. The variety of shows that satellite TV makes available can have a whole family traveling back in time together, learning about the city constructs and social practices of 15th century England or taking a virtual tour of the Roman Coliseum. Television has the unique ability to making learning more fun and interesting than the average day to day textbook.
Watching cooking shows, music videos, and travel shows can expose children to different cultures around the world. While all of this is good, not all of the material on television is suitable for children, but luckily parents can block certain channels from being accessed by kids. Being able to monitor which parts of satellite TV a child has access to increases the chances that their relationship with the TV will be an educational one. Just like adults, kids can travel the world from the comfort of their home using nothing more than their remote control.
While it is still not a good idea to leave a child in front of the television for hours on end everyday, letting them watch some truly educational programs could inspire them to get out and do something. Watching a great soccer game could motivate a child to head outside and kick a ball around, or hearing the announcer in another language could spark an interest in learning a second language. The wide variety of programs that satellite TV provides means there are multiple lessons to be learned and a vast amount of information for children to absorb. The television does not have to be viewed as the enemy of a developing child’s mind.