“Watching just a short bit of the wildly popular kids TV show “SpongeBob SquarePants” has been known to give many parents headaches. Psychologists have now found that a brief exposure to SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and the rest of the crew also appears to dampen preschoolers’ brain power.”
That’s a quote from an article in the Los Angeles Times today… Apparently, someone needed a study to prove that watching Spongebob hinders the minds of children… Sure, TV in general is in no way a replacement for hands on, interactive entertainment… but watching a show on TV that offers absolutely nothing in the ways of problem solving, memory skills, or other needed skills for their little learning brains… doesn’t help in any way..
So, this research group, took 60 4 year old kids and separated them into 3 groups: “one that watched nine minutes of a fast-paced, “very popular fantastical cartoon about an animated sponge that lives under the sea;” one that watched nine minutes of slower-paced programming from a PBS show “about a typical U.S. preschool-aged boy;” and a third group that was asked to draw for nine minutes with markers and crayons.”
After watching these few minutes of TV or drawing, the kids were given 4 tests to see how their executive function was affected. Those kids who watched the cartoon about our dear friend with the Square Pants scored the lowest. “Hmmmm” she says…
Now, Nickelodeon… The network that airs SpongeBob Squarepants says that there are issues with this kind of test. They told CNN that “having 60 non-diverse kids, who are not part of the show’s targeted demo, watch 9 minutes of programming is questionable methodology. It could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust.” They also said that SpongeBob’s intended viewing audience was kids ages 6-11… not preschoolers… But really, does that make any difference? How many young kids have you seen watching this cartoon?
I for one am really glad that I limit my kids from SpongeBob… Regardless of how true this study is or not… There are much better things to do than sit in front of the TV all day watching cartoons…
What do you think? Do you think this study rings true? Do you let your kids watch SpongeBob? Will you after reading this article?