September 12, 2011 by Scott Mayes
Yes, you, blog reader.
Are you having trouble focusing?
Well, maybe it’s because you’ve been watching too much “SpongeBob.”
SpongeBob is in a little hot water today, according to a study based on 4 year-olds.
The show is criticized because of its “fast movement,” saying that watching “just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.”
The problems, according to an Associated Press story, were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch “SpongeBob,” or the slower-paced PBS cartoon “Caillou” or assigned to draw pictures.
Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched “SpongeBob” did measurably worse than the others.
So, how do you handle TV with your 4 year-old?
How much TV can they watch?
And, have you ever thought that “fast-moving” cartoons can have a greater negative impact that those with less motion?
I, honestly, have never considered the motion of such shows.
But, after reading this, I definitely will look at TV with a different eye.
• An editor by day, Scott Mayes is also dad to Matthew, Micah and Nathan. He’s a high school parent, a youth football dad and changes diapers. He’s experienced many things as a parent, but is absolutely clueless about raising daughters.