The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Spongebob - no; Creative learning activities - YES!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spongebob - no; Creative learning activities - YES!

I agree with everything this says, so I'm simply reposting it here on my blog! (From MyFox, Tampa Bay)

'SpongeBob SquarePants' bad for kids' concentration, US study says

Updated: Monday, 12 Sep 2011, 6:18 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 12 Sep 2011, 6:18 AM EDT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Fast-paced, fantastical television shows such as "SpongeBob SquarePants" may harm children's ability to pay attention, solve problems and moderate behavior, according to a US study published Monday.

Researchers from the University of Virginia found that the learning ability of four-year-olds who watched nine minutes of "SpongeBob SquarePants" was severely compromised compared to four-year-olds who either watched the slower-paced TV show "Caillou" or spent time drawing.

The children in the study, whether they watched TV or drew, were tested immediately afterward to see how well they solved problems and followed rules, remembered what they were told and were able to delay gratification, according to the report published in journal Pediatrics. There was little difference in the way the children who watched "Caillou" or drew performed in the test.

"Parents should know that children who have just watched 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' or shows like it, might become compromised in their ability to learn and behave with self-control," according to psychology professor Angeline Lillard, who led the research. She added, "It is possible that the fast pacing, where characters are constantly in motion from one thing to the next, and extreme fantasy, where the characters do things that make no sense in the real world, may disrupt the child's ability to concentrate immediately afterward."

Lillard said another possible explanation was that children identified with unfocused and frenetic characters and then adopted their characteristics. She advised parents to consider the findings when making decisions about which television shows to allow their young children to watch -- if they watch TV at all. The study also recommended that parents use creative learning activities -- such as drawing, using building blocks and playing outdoors -- to help their children develop sound behaviors and learning skills.

Happy Parenting!

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