Why is it better for kids to read books than watch tv?

I mean what do books do to kids that tv doesnt?

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Have you ever read a book and then watched the movie? Chances are you found the movie lacking because it could not express all the nuances and inner thoughts and backgrounds of the characters.

    Roald Dahl author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory says it best:

    The most important thing we've learned,

    So far as children are concerned,

    Is never, never, NEVER let

    Them near your television set –

    Or better still, just don't install

    The idiotic thing at all.

    In almost every house we've been,

    We've watched them gaping at the screen.

    They loll and slop and lounge about,

    And stare until their eyes pop out.

    (Last week in someone's place we saw

    A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)

    They sit and stare and stare and sit

    Until they're hypnotised by it,

    Until they're absolutely drunk

    With all that shocking ghastly junk.

    Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,

    They don't climb out the window sill,

    They never fight or kick or punch,

    They leave you free to cook the lunch

    And wash the dishes in the sink –

    But did you ever stop to think,

    To wonder just exactly what

    This does to your beloved tot?

    It rots the senses in the head!

    It kills imagination dead!

    It clogs and clutters up the mind!

    It makes a child so dull and blind

    He can no longer understand

    A fantasy, a fairyland!

    His brain becomes as soft as cheese!

    His powers of thinking rust and freeze!

    He CANNOT think – he only SEES!

    'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,

    'But if we take the set away,

    What shall we do to entertain

    Our darling children? Please explain!'

    We'll answer this by asking you,

    'What used the darling ones to do?

    How used they keep themselves contended

    Before this monster was invented?'

    Have you forgotten? Don't you know?

    We'll say it very loud and slow:

    They...used...to...read! They'd read and read,

    And read and read, and then proceed

    To read some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!

    One half their lives was reading books!

    The nursery shelves held books galore!

    Books cluttered up the nursery floor!

    And in the bedroom, by the bed,

    More books were waiting to be read!

    Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales

    Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales

    And treasure isles, and distant shores

    Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,

    And pirates wearing purple pants,

    And sailing ships and elephants,

    And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,

    Stirring away at something hot.

    (It smells so good, what can it be!

    Good gracious, it's Penelope.)

    The younger ones hat Beatrix Potter

    With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,

    And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,

    And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and –

    Just How The Camel Got His Hump,

    And How The Monkey Lost His Lump,

    And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,

    There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole –

    Oh, books, what books they used to know,

    Those children living long ago!

    So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,

    Go throw your TV set away,

    And in its place you can install

    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.

    Then fill the shelves with lots of books,

    Ignoring all the dirty looks,

    The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,

    And children hitting you with sticks –

    Fear not, because we promise you

    That, in about a week or two

    Of having nothing else to do,

    They’ll now begin to feel the need

    Of having something good to read.

    And once they start – oh boy, oh boy!

    You watch the slowly growing joy

    That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen

    They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen

    In that ridiculous machine,

    That nauseating, foul, unclean,

    Repulsive television screen!

    And later, each and every kid

    Will love you more for what you did.

    I was going to do a nice write about the two, being an avid reader myself, but Mr. Dahl does it so much better. And he rhymes too! Most tv is drivel children can do very well without. If one controls the media he controls the mind of the nation. And they love to start hooking children YOUNG to commercialism! TV is fine but it is best in smaller amounts. And it can be a wonderful tool educationally and morally if and when you sit down and discuss what they watch with them. Uncontrolled access to tv creates brain dead robots with no imagination.


  • 1 decade ago

    There are some great educational shows on tv, I do agree. Reading books together, however, is very valuable to a child's learning and is a great bonding time for parent and child. Plus reading helps not only visual skills (as tv does) but also auditory skills and developing imagination, vocabulary, etc.

    There are so many studies to support this (too many to list) but just from our own personal experience, I would say that reading books is much better than leaving your kids to just watch tv.

  • trhwsh
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Well, for one thing books help you learn to read better, and if you are doing the right type of reading then you are getting a better education. However, if you are reading the same type stuff you are watching on TV then you have a point.

    Ready or doing some kind of activity that chalanges your mind such as writing, working a puzzle, doing home, those sorts of things also build more brain cells, where as when you watch tv it depletes them to a degree, unless you are watching something that is really making you think.

  • 1 decade ago

    Simple - when you read, several things happen in your brain. First, there is more interaction between the different areas of your brain that process different tasks, which, for lack of a better way to put it, makes your brain work better. Although not a muscle, your brain responds to "exercise" - the more you work it, the better it works. Second, reading requires an active use of your imagination, creating the pictures in your mind to go with the words on the page. TV supplies ready-made images to accompany the story line, thereby robbing your brain of the opportunity to make up your own movie to go with the words.

    Just for the record, there have been several studies (the most definitive ones are from Japan) indicating that both excessive TV watching and excessive video game play actually result in cognitive development delay in pre-school and elementary school aged children. I guess that's why more game consoles were sold in Los Angeles alone than in all of Japan last year.

    I hope this helps.


    Dr. Ronn

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  • 1 decade ago

    Books are great for the imagination. Watch a movie and then read the book. The book is almost ALWAYS better. Plus, grammar is usually better in books, which will help in school.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    TV is something already programmed visually for people to watch. Books on the other hand strengthen imagination because your brain must visualize the descriptions that the words give off. Reading = imagination.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    For starters, they improve language usage skills. Kids are able to read words in-context, and learn different meanings for words just by reading a sentence. What text do you see on TV?


    "Low APR"

    "Tonight on Leno"

    The words are very basic, and are not in actual sentences. If you just rely on TV, you end up with children who are incapable of proper verbal communication and who can't read more than a very simple sentence. And if you can't spell or write by the time you get into adulthood, you'll be spending the rest of your life stuffing grocery bags.

    Plus reading allows you to use your imagination. TV does it for you, and that's not as much fun.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, studies show that your brain is less active while watching tv than while sleeping. That sounds bad in and of itself. Commericals promote materialism and overeating, as well as poor body image, especially in young girls. Finally, books encourage children to use their imaginations and teaches problem solving and language comprehension, which tv doesn't do.

    tv can be alright in moderation, just take steps to counteract the negative effects.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because you are reading a book, it forces you to imagine what is going on. It also means that you have to comprehend what is in front of your eyes and make sense of it. TV doesn't leave anything to the imagination.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Books open up your imagination!! Reading strengthens your mind and extends your vocabulary. Helps you learn to spell and gives you eyes exercise. If you read a story to a child they will want to learn to read more quickly themselves. It is very rewarding when the child can read the stories back to you. Television is good to make life easier.. but it is not the best tool when the child needs developmental skills broadened.

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