As kids, cartoons were a major source of entertainment for us. Saturdays were all about watching our beloved shows. Now that we're parents, we might be unsure if cartoons are good for our own kids. However, there are actually numerous advantages to letting them indulge in their favorite characters. Almost all parents use cartoons as a way to keep their children entertained. However, watching cartoons along with them is the best solution or not?
Is it appropriate to watch cartoons together?
You don't want the baby learning to be bad, do you? Cartoons are different, and their perception is also different. For example, the cartoon Masha and the Bear is blocked in some countries, as it teaches disobedience to casters. At the same time, it is not necessary to watch all the cartoons. It is enough to watch a few episodes of the cartoon to understand whether you like its meaning and manner of presentation or not. Approved cartoons you can let your child watch even alone.
What should be considered when watching a cartoon?
#1 Watching TV is not recommended for children under 2 years of age
Experts suggest zero screen time for infants under two years old. At this age, babies view television as a confusing array of colors, images, and sounds that they are unable to comprehend. TV has little impact on child development during this time, and can actually have negative effects such as overstimulation, increased fussiness, and difficulty falling asleep. It's best to avoid exposing babies of this age to TV content altogether.
#2 Prepare the right conditions
Your child's eyes are very sensitive and too much exposure to cartoons and excessive TV can cause serious damage. The bright visuals and stimulation can lead to eye strain, sensitivity, and even short-sightedness. To prevent this, ensure that your child is sitting at an appropriate distance from the TV and avoid handing over devices that require prolonged staring. Adequate room lighting and avoiding TV watching in the dark is also important. If your child is watching a program for an extended period, encourage him to take frequent breaks by looking away from the screen or taking a short walk around the house. Protect your child's eyes by following these simple steps.
You can enable cartoons on your phone too but with extra care. There are quite a few applications with a children's library. When you get tired of one of them, just replace it with another. Just don't forget to use the cleaner app from time to time. It is enough for you to run the app cleaner every 1-2 weeks and you will forget what a completely clogged memory is. As a bonus, after cleanup, the phone will work better. Just remember that watching cartoons on your phone harms your eyesight, so don't abuse it.
#3 Get rid of ads
Did you know that TV commercials can also expose your child to violent or inappropriate content? It's not just the cartoons themselves that you need to be wary of. To protect your child, consider regulating the time slot in which they watch TV and record shows without commercials if you have that option. Keep your little one safe from harmful messaging on screen.
#4 Explain that events and characters in cartoons are not real
Don't worry, we aren't suggesting that you stifle your child's imagination or squash their make-believe world. However, young children often struggle to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Seeing something scary on a TV show may lead them to think it exists in the real world, which can cause fear, restlessness, and confusion. To help your child understand, have a chat with them and explain that what they see on TV isn't real. Cartoon characters are made by artists and don't actually live inside the TV.
#5 Don't watch cartoons in the bedroom
It's important to enforce a strict rule that your child shouldn't watch cartoons late at night. Studies show that late-night TV viewing can make children tired and irritable the next day. Even if there are guests or your child is restless, avoid turning to the TV. Additionally, don't let your child have a TV in their bedroom or watch cartoons in bed. Several studies have linked TV viewing to sleep problems.
Remember to apply this rule during meal times too. Watching cartoons while eating can reduce interest in food, cultivate unhealthy eating habits, and lead to TV addiction. If you need help implementing this rule, take a look at expert-recommended tips on how to feed children without TV.
Watching TV as a babysitter is not recommended. Many of us use it as a way to get some much-needed quiet time, but experts suggest that it's best to watch it with our children. This allows us to monitor their reactions and discuss what they're seeing. By doing this, we show our involvement in the activity and can identify important developmental cues or red flags. Don't miss out on these opportunities by simply using TV as a distraction. But this does not mean that you should spend all the time with the child. Just when possible, watch cartoons together and discuss what you see.