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The whole world is probably advising you to keep your child away from all forms of media, claiming that they’ll corrupt your child’s mind. But as with everything, there are two sides to this coin and here we list out 10 benefits of media for preschoolers.
If you’re a parent who reads parenting magazines or websites, it is more than likely that you’ve come across a study that declares media to be ‘evil’ and describes how it can ruin your child. While excessive TV watching or playing video games is certainly harmful, a well thought out media strategy for your child can really help her develop her skills. Here we list out 10 benefits of media for kids that are sure to get you thinking!
1. Encourages Computer Literacy
In today’s world, computer literacy is just as (if not more) important as learning to read and write. Staying away from a computer or laptop is simply not possible, and the earlier kids learn the various aspects of operating such devices, the better it is for them.
2. Develops Gross and Fine Motor Skills
For young children, there are several games on the internet that require them to move their fingers swiftly across the keyboard or use the mouse with dexterity. All these help develop their fine motor skills. Video games greatly help with developing hand-eye coordination, especially in older kids. Just be sure to stay away from the violent varieties.
3. Helps in School Projects
Internet is great as a classroom assistant. Got a project from school? Doesn’t matter – you’ll get loads of ideas online! Kids can learn how to make a model solar system, for example, by recycling materials around the home. So you get craft skills, science knowledge and resourcefulness all together!
4. Answers Questions
Everyone knows how curious preschoolers can get. You needn’t let their curiosity go unsatisfied; just use media to get the right answers. This will encourage them to ask more questions, which is the basis of learning.
5. Develops Interests
Most preschoolers are obsessively interested about something or the other, and some of them continue to be like that till the teen years. Media can greatly help in developing these interests and providing them with information they seek. For example, you might not have a space station in your area to visit, so you can show them a related TV documentary or YouTube videos of the same.
6. Provides Inspiration
There are often shows on TV about famous and inspirational people which could influence your child in a positive way. Movies can also work, especially if your child relates to a character in it. For example, a shy child might enjoy and be inspired by a movie which shows a similar character overcoming his shyness.
7. Provides Exposure to Art
Not everyone has access to an art gallery or museum, so media is a great way to expose kids to various forms of art and film. Seeing beautiful work could inspire kids to try out their own versions as well. Many TV shows also teach kids about many art and craft activities.
8. Helps The Family Bond
There’s nothing like a good funny movie to get the whole family laughing together. Families nowadays are very busy with each member having packed days throughout the week. It’s a great bonding opportunity when the whole family comes together at the end of the day or the week for a good movie or TV show.
9. Encourages Tolerance of Differences
Media has the power to give kids a peek into another part of the world, without actually going there. Seeing how people eat, dress and live in another country greatly widens a child’s perspective and teaches him about different cultures. Kids can also learn to appreciate the fact that regardless of outward differences, humans are all the same.
10. Increases Awareness
Kids, especially teenagers are exposed to a lot of negative influences at school and outside. The best way to help them understand right and wrong is to make them aware from the young age. Media does a great job on this front by airing awareness campaigns on all matters regularly through the channels.
11. A very important thing to remember is that
Moderation is key. Limit screen time to about one hour a day for toddlers and two hours for preschoolers. Ensure that this time is split into half hour intervals across the day to avoid overkill. Set a child lock on your TV and install child safe software on your computer. It’s best to keep your computer in an open space where he can be easily monitored. With a few simple precautions, you and your child can make the most of all that modern media has to offer.