Kids who watch more TV at two are more likely to be bullied at twelve


A new study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics found that two year olds who watched more television were more likely to be bullied at twelve years old.


Researchers followed about two thousand two year olds for ten years. For every extra hour more than average of television (1.5 hours per day), a child was 11% more likely to be victimized by peers at age twelve.


While the study limited its focus to time watching television, it’s not hard to imagine that the effects could extend to time playing games on mobile devices or surfing the web. Two year olds are often active and demanding, so it is tempting and convenient for parents to entertain their little ones with screens.


However, the results of the study indicate that electronic babysitting is an emotionally nutritionless option. The children who are glued to a screen are missing the opportunity to watch and engage in social interactions. Their emotional intelligence does not grow, because it is not being fed.


The more time children spend in front of screens, the more time they will continue to spend in front of screens. If toddlers do not learn the nuances of social interaction, they grow into school aged kids who are not at ease in social situations. Their social anxiety motivates them to withdraw to their comfort zones, technology, which increases their social isolation, which leads to more screen time.


And, of course, no child asks to be bullied, and certainly no child deserves to be bullied. However, as every adult knows, children know when other children are uncomfortable and uncertain. The ruthless children will exploit this knowledge.


This is just another reason for parents to unplug themselves and their families.


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