Bullies Target Kids Who Watch Too Much TV: Is Your Child At Risk?

kid watching tv

We all know vegging out in front of the TV turns kids' brains to mush ... but a new study has found a more surprising long-term side effect: TV puts kids at risk for being bullied.

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To reach these conclusions, researchers at the University of Montreal asked the parents of nearly 2,000 kids about their TV viewing habits at 29 months old.

Then, in sixth grade, those same kids filled out a survey indicating how frequently they were teased, excluded, pushed, punched, or forced to give up something that belonged to them (like their lunch money).

The results? For each additional hour of TV watched, kids experienced an 11 percent increase in the amount of bullying.

More from The Stir: 25 Surprising Effects TV & Computers Have on Our Kids

Researchers theorize that the reason is that TV times takes kids away from developing social skills that could help fend off bullies. (Although clearly these kids weren't watching Popeye, since if they did they'd know exactly what to do! Just sayin' ...)

Still, as a mom, my knee-jerk reaction was, "Oh great, another study slamming TV and making me feel guilty every time I stick my toddler in front of the tube." And while this is certainly disturbing, I guess it just goes to show that there's truly no replacement for human-to-human interaction, and that this has really far-reaching effects on a child's life.

Luckily the researchers did say that these negative effects could be curbed if parents watch TV with their kids and discuss what they're watching -- i.e.: "See how that big boy just pushed that little one on the playground? That's not right; that little boy should go tell a teacher to make the boy stop."

Yet again, whether the TV is on or off, it's pretty simple, people: Talk to your kids!

 

Image via Concept Photo/shutterstock

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