TV programs can lead to violent behavior - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

TV programs can lead to violent behavior

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"Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers," says one preschooler. But those shows may not be the best choices for young kids.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests parents who switched the channel from Power Rangers to Sesame Street, saw a modest decrease in their kid's aggressive behavior.

The study found teaching parents to switch to more educational shows improved preschoolers' behavior, even without getting them to watch less TV.

Bethel College Early Childhood Education Professor, Dr. Rebecca Wilson agrees, saying some programs can contribute to violent behavior. "Obviously our culture has begun to portray a lot more violence on television so that to me is very alarming because our children are now assuming that is normal."

She says there are better options for these kids. "Obviously family shows, things that have a safe rating, there are some wonderful programs out there for television, but it's up to the parent to monitor."

But Dr. Wilson takes it a step further. "Children before age four really should not be watching television at all. From birth to age four their brains are still developing and so if they're watching television and TV tends to do things in quick bursts and very sudden changes of scene."

She says this causes the brain to develop differently and may lead to ADD. But because kids will continue to watch TV, she says at least make sure they're soaking in something positive. "It's critical that parents are selective in what they watch."

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