Did you know that almost 1/3 of US households leave the TV on all the time? I didn’t know the numbers, but it doesn’t surprise me. Americans have a hard time with silence. Just take a walk around the mall or even the park and you’ll see most people either on the phone or with ear buds popped in listening to music. We can’t cope with silence. I’m not sure why the idea of “silence is golden” isn’t too popular anymore.
Background TV has been linked to reading and learning problems in young children. It also hinders quality communication between parents and children and it has been found to shorten attention spans for kids of all ages. (Source: Suburban Parent Magazine)
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that older children watch no more than one to two hours of age-appropriate TV per day. It discourages any TV viewing for children ages 2 or younger. (Source)
One way we limit our TV viewing, not that it makes it easier to turn it off when you have a child whining about it, is that we don’t have any live TV in our house. Our children only watch DVDs. At night we will watch prime time TV on our computer the day after a show airs. We lived overseas for a year and had no cable and we just got used to it. It’s very nice being able to closely monitor our children’s viewing and it’s a bit easier to turn it off when the DVD is over.