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Essay Article Application: Television Harms Children by Ann Viorisek White

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In “Television Harms Children”, Ann Vorisek White claims that the intellectual and cognitive development of children who frequently watch television is threatened. To support this claim, she points to the findings that “the more television children watch, the weaker their language skills and imaginations” (White, 2006). Before the brain fully matures around age 12, it is in the stage of rapid development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “recommends that children under the age of two not watch TV or videos, and that older children watch only one to two hours per day of nonviolent, educational TV” (White, 2006). A study from the AAP (as cited in White, 2006) found that the average American child watches four hours of television every day. Considering "expression and reasoning are not automatic" abilities, young children who routinely watch television eventually become "passive and nonverbal" to stimuli in their environment (White, 2006). Since the normality of curiosity and imaginations of young children are the foundation of how they learn, remaining passive for extended periods of time affects their intellectual and moral development.
Such nonverbal absorption from language spoken by actors on TV does not have the same effect on children’s intellectual and cognitive development as real-life language experiences. A conversation is cooperative, allowing “time for reflection, questions, and encouragement” (White, 2006). On the other hand, television provides no interaction, so the child is glued to the television, unable to ask questions and has no time for thought because the show must go on. As a result, children who watch excessive amounts of television become adapted to not think, leading them to be “passive and unrespo...


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...ect to the cognitive development of the brain. It gives small details about the normal development of the brain hemispheres and the difference between a child's brain and an adult's brain. White warns parents how they are damaging their children’s' brains by allowing them to watch excessive hours of television. Excessive hours of watching television causes an interruption in the child’s intelligence development, hindering the child’s responses to his/her environment. She states that it is best if parents do not let their children watch TV as a common way to amuse them. She advises parents to withdraw their children from the television to explore different situations by participating in healthier activities.


Works Cited

White, A. V. (2006). Television Harms Children. Opposing Viewpoints. Television. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Mothering, 2001, 70)



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