Is TV Really Harmful to Kids?

Admit it: You’ve used the TV to distract your kids before. But, who hasn't? When you've come home from a busy day’s work and you’re desperately trying to prepare dinner, sometimes flicking on The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba! or Hannah Montana is the easiest way to entertain your munchkins. In the back of your mind, though, there may be one nagging question: Is watching TV really good for my kids?

While the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two should not watch television, there are two new studies that further suggest that TV isn't great for kids—or their parents. One indicates that children under three couldn't learn verbs from educational TV alone. In order for them to retain the information, an adult had to help frame and reinforce the lesson for them. The other showed that having a TV on in the background had a negative effect on parent-child interactions.

Here's how you can engage your child without turning on the boob tube.

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