Study shows television time replacing story time for many Aussie children

Ella McCarthy reading a book to her daughter Annabelle and son Harry. Picture: Brooke Whatnall Source: AdelaideNow

TELEVISION time is replacing story time for many Australian children, new research shows.

Nearly half of Australia's poorest kids are not being read to at home, but are watching more television.

Australian Institute of Family Studies figures show 41 to 47 per cent of children in disadvantaged families are missing regular reading time with their parents. Even among better-off families 5 to 22 per cent kids miss out on reading.

The institute's report, Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, analysed the reading and TV viewing habits of 10,000 children aged between two and five years.

It found the more disadvantaged a child's background, the more likely the youngster would watch TV for more than the recommended two hours a day.

Report manager Dr Ben Edwards said increased time in front of the box usually meant less reading time for children.

"More than two hours a day is quite a lot, and there's a lot of studies that show that much TV can be detrimental to children's development," he said.

For Ella and James McCarthy, reading to their children, Harry, 3, and Annabelle, five months, has been a bedtime ritual.

"It's a nice bonding time, particularly for my husband, James, who doesn't see them as much as he'd like," Mrs McCarthy said.

-  AdelaideNow


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!