Parents Who Watch TV With Their Kids Impact Their Learning Ability, Study Reveals

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald January 06, 04:00 am
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A new study reveals that kids are better stimulated to learn about what they're watching if they are with their parents.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images )

Parents who watch television with their children, as opposed to leaving them in front of the TV, affect their kids' learning ability. A new study has learned that children become stimulated and gain more if they do this activity together with their mom or dad.

Researchers from the Texas Tech University wanted to look into the physiological changes that occur with children's TV viewing and how a parent's presence can impact this, the press release stated. They did a heart rate and skin conductance test on participants under the age of 12 to measure stimulation as the kids watched "Man Vs. Wild."

The researchers let the kids watch the show on two instances: with their parents and without their parents. The researchers saw a noticeable decrease in the heart rate monitor and increase in the skin conductance monitor when the mom or dad sat with their kids.

"[It] means that their brain is telling their body, 'Hey get ready to pay attention,' and their bodies are actually paying more attention when they watch TV," lead study author Eric Rasmussen said, according to Everything Lubbock. It indicated that the children were more stimulated and more interested in what they were doing with their parents next to them.

The researchers concluded that parental involvement, even with simple activities like watching TV, greatly impacts the child. In many ways, this affects their learning ability or behavior as well.

The study's results came in light of the fact that kids today are regarded as the new lost generation, according to a report from the Department of Education. It cited that the younger generation has short attention spans and lacks the motivation to learn because of the constant exposure to different media and devices, among other factors.

But as the latest study has shown, involved parents could help reverse this trend. They can help their kids take advantage of the barrage of media if they make it a point to be an active part of it as well.

"I think our focus needs to be on raising a generation of media-literate parents in order for them to make the difference for children that we really want to make," Rasmussen said. The researchers plan to do further studies and do a physiological test on the parents next.

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