We live in an interesting time where we have to choose whether we allow our kids to watch TV and have electronic devices. With the new info regarding subliminal messages on YouTube, it’s easy to say we will take away our kids access to the digital world and make them be creative and play on their own. While it’s obvious that time away from technology is good, we also need to talk about the benefits it can have our kids as well. A new study reveals that watching Sesame Street Can Actually Help Your Kids Succeed in both school and work one day. Talk about a parenting win! No more guilt about letting your kids watch TV (yes, within reason). According to a recent study published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Sesame Street helps improve school performance for children who are exposed to it before the age of seven and even has more long-term benefits.
“A small-scale randomized control trial (RCT) conducted at that time indicates that the show had a substantial and immediate impact on literacy and numeracy test scores at ages three and four, comparable in size to those observed in early Head Start evaluations. But, there is a lack of causal evidence about longer-term effects.” (Source)
In order to understand long-term effects from the show, the researchers behind the study, Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip B. Levine studied data from the U.S. census from 1980, 1990, and 2000 to compare employment data, reception rates on where the show was aired and educational reports on the kids who had access to watch the series versus those who did not. After all the research and time, the study concluded that “watching the show generated an immediate and sizable increase in test scores”. So, what about long-term effects?
“In terms of longer-term outcomes, we see imprecisely estimated long-term effects consistent with the grade-for-age results.” (Source)
What I found particularly interesting is that while the study found significant data that shows the positive effects for both boys and girls, it seemed to benefit boys more than it did girls.  Interesting, right?
I would have thought the opposite – that it would have benefited girls more. So, if you have a young child that hasn’t watched the show, now is the time to introduce them to it. You can see when Sesame Street is on TV here.

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