You know how most studies that come out cause massive amounts of parental guilt? Too much sugar, too little exercise, not enough breast milk, not enough hours spent studying -- it seems every day we get news of how we're harming or not doing enough to help our kids. So that's why I jumped for joy when I read a new study that says children who watch more television do better in school than their peers who watch less.
Can I get a hallelujah? Especially this summer, when my mommy guilt runs high over all the screen time. It contradicts most every other study we've seen, but according to the Daily Mail, the study out of the University of London found that kids who watch three or more hours of TV a day were three months ahead of those who watch an hour or less.
Dr. Alice Sullivan, who may be my favorite doctor ever, said that the "educational value of children's television has been underestimated." This study gets better too. It found that rigid rules -- like regular bed and meal times -- aren't as significant as we tend to think when it comes to our children's school performance either. Perhaps not so encouraging for many, however, is the overall finding that more than anything, social class and a parent's education are the most significant things that determine how well children will do in school.
Regardless, it's certainly not just a license to stick your kid in front of the TV all day and throw the rules out the window. It is just one study, and there are plenty of other reasons besides schoolwork that it's not good for them to be spending endless hours in front of the TV, including the need for physical activity. However, what I think it does do is give us a little bit more of a license to relax the rules once in awhile. So what if our kids watch a half day of TV on one of these lazy, rainy summer days. So what if we let them stay up late once in awhile to watch a baseball game. As long as we love them and try to do our best, they're probably going to turn out okay.
What do you make of this study?
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