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Television : A Good Babysitter? (From Idrissa B BARRY, Provincial High School of Kaya)

At times, keeping your children amused by letting them watch television while you take care of other matters may seem very appealing. But how could this affect you children?
“Even young babies can be influenced by emotional messages delivered through a television screen”, reports The New York Times. In a recent study, one-year-olds were shown short television clips in which an actress reacted to a toy in a variety of ways. “When the actress responded to a toy with fear”, says the TIMES, “the babies avoided playing with it and were more likely to appear worried, frown, scowl or cry. When the actress was enthusiastic, the infants were more apt to play with the toy.”
Obviously, television can affect infants. How about its long-term influence on children? Dr. Naoki Kataoka, professor of pediatrics at Kawasaki Medical College in Kurashiki, Japan has observed dozens of children who are extremely quiet and have little expression on their faces. All had watched TV or videos for an extended period of time. A two year-old boy could not carry on a conversation and had a limited vocabulary. He had watched videos from morning to evening every day since he was a year old. Only after his mother, following the doctor’s advice, stopped letting the boy watch videos and started having physical contact with him through play did the boy’s vocabulary gradually increase. Yes, parents must interact with their children.

Adapted from “The WATCHTOWER” Vol. 127, N°12 of June 15, 2006, P.32.


- Appealing : attrayant (e)
- A toy : un jouet.


1) Why do parents sometimes let their children watch television in the text? (2 pts)
2) How can television negatively influence a child in the text? (5 pts)
3) How can parents correct the bad impact of television on their children according to the text? (6 pts)
4) Is television a necessary thing or a danger in a house according to you? (8-10 lines) (7 pts)
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