Children have become much more interested in cartoons over many years and it has become a primary force in their lives. Typically, children begin watching cartoons on television at an early age of six months, and by the age two or three children become enthusiastic viewers. This has become a problem because too many children are watching too much television and the shows that they are watching (even if they are cartoons) have become violent and addictive. The marketing of cartoons has become overpowering and so has the subliminal messaging. The marketing is targeted toward the children to cause them to want to view the cartoons on a regular basis, but the subliminal messaging is for the adults’ to target them into enjoying the “cartoons”. This is unfortunate because children watch the cartoons on the television and they see material that is not appropriate for their age group.
Television programs that are targeted towards children, such as cartoons, can affect children in both positive and negative ways. The cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matters that can influence children in many different ways. The majority of cartoons choose to use violence and inappropriate subject matter to entertain children. These images and stories can have a tremendous negative impact on children because the violence is rewarded without consequences, is glorified, and idealized. Children look up to the characters that have a negative impact by distorting their views on conflict resolution. There are, however, cartoons that contain little or no violence and often try to incorporate educational lessons that concern values and morals that are important for children to learn, thus having a positive impact. It is common to see young boys pretending to shoot one another, while jumping on the couch and hiding in closets as a sort of make-believe fort. These cartoons will greatly affect these children's behavior in growing up. Violence is a learned behavior and therefore children need to see violence in order to become violent themselves . If a child is viewing their favorite character hitting, kicking, and beating up the "bad guys" a child will learn these behaviors too. And because most of these cartoons do not show any consequences for these behaviors and in a sense glorify violence, children think that this is an acceptable form of problem solving . Children also experience other negative effects from viewing these violent cartoons such as, increased anxiety, antisocial behaviors, and nightmares containing TV characters.
It was found in one study that what a children watches on TV at age 8 will be one of the best predictors of how aggressive they will be as an adult. What a child watches after age 8 is not nearly as important as what they watch before age 8. Violence desensitizes children to real life violence.
They see the cartoon characters beating up the bad guys so when they see a bully at school picking on another kid they are less likely to find anything wrong with that situation. Teachers have noticed that children have been more obsessed with characters, they write stories, draw pictures and build models of their favorite characters during school. Violence had increased among the children in their classes recently. On the playground boys were increasing excluding girls from play.
With all this being said there are still people out there who disagree with the notion that children's cartoons are too violent. Some just simply argue that kids will be kids and that they will kick, hit and yell karate moves whether they watch TV or not . They state that these cartoons actually help children .
They allow children to become something that they can't be in everyday life, to leave the real world behind for a while to satisfy their own curiosity. Children can project themselves onto these superheroes and this lets them become powerful for a few minutes in a world that gives no power to children....
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