November 10, 2012
Children and the Effects from Television
Television programs were created for children to learn everyday skills, but it can come to start affecting children today because they watch too much they start lacking in physical activity and some can become distant and violent. Studies have shown that children can become obese, violent and even dependent on television if watched too much television.
Television can influence children in many different ways like becoming obese, become dependent on it too much; change school habits and even can become violent with watching different types of shows. It is time for parents to start standing up and take control over what and just how much their children watch television. It is said that children watch too much television even though some studies have proven that different types of children’s television shows tend to effect children in different ways also they learn new things faster. Shows like Blue’s Clues, Chuggington, Dinosaur Train, Mickey Mouse Club House, and Team Umizoomi are all filled with educational values that help children develop skills that they need. Blue’s Clues is a much liked show by children ages 2-4. According to "Common Sense Media" (2012), "In fact, Blue's Clues does a very fine job of treating its young viewers as the multifaceted individuals that they are.” This is very important to young children because it makes them feel as they are a part of something special when they watch shows like this.
With these types of shows teach children how to have different types of important social skills, teamwork, science, alphabet, numbers, math problems and even have physical fitness in them which are some of the things that a child needs to know. With these types of show is just what children need to help them expand their brains. According to PEDÜK (2012) “Whichever program it may be, it has behavioral, mental and emotional effects.” (p.224).On the other hand more children are watching more television shows for an entertainment purpose which has no educational vales in them. Shows like Sponge Bob Square Pants, The Simpsons, Batman, and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which consist of having violence, rudeness, and poor role models for children are the ones that are shaping our children in this day of age. It is up to the parent to make sure that their children are getting the correct balance of fun, education, and physical activity to help them grow. Studies have shown that cartoons have the most major impacts on children because in the cartoons to children it is something done every day and ok to act out likes the character on television. According to "Kids Health from Nemours" (1995-2012),” Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior” which has become an issue to many different children around the world today. Children are like little sponges soaking up everything they can because every little boy and girl wants to be like their favorite cartoon hero or character.
How much time a child watches television is a major factor in children’s behavior and their physical health. Whenever parents allow their children to sit in front of the television and watch more than four hours a day then parents could be running a risk of their child to become more dependent on television to keep them entertained, and this can become very harmful to a child’s health, or to their mental state as well. It can be hard on a parent try to clean house, cook a meal, and even do school work with children becoming bored, and parents just do not have the time to spend with them and then so it seem to be a helpful tool to be able to help at the time for them to watch television. One of the things that you can do to make sure when the appropriate times and what is the appropriate show’s to watch according to "Kids Health from Nemours" (1995-2012),” Come up with a family TV schedule that you all agree upon each week. Then, post the schedule in a visible area (e.g., on the refrigerator) so that everyone knows which programs are OK to watch and when. And make sure to turn off the TV when the "scheduled" program is over instead of channel surfing.” Instead of giving your children television time when they experience boredom some suggestion to them is to go outside and make believe that they are the characters in their favorite learning television show. Another thing is get them some flash cards with math, spelling or any type of learning cards. If you distract children from television with something better then you will have a child that cares less about the television and more about playing with their learning games.
Common assumption say that violent television shows can mold a child to be either violent when they get older or they develop a fear of being hurt. Children take what they see and apply it to what they do, kind of like the saying “Monkey see monkey do” type of thing. According to Willson (2008) “Wilson also shows that children's susceptibility to media influence can vary according to their gender, their age, how realistic they perceive the media to be, and how much they identify with characters and people on the screen.” ” (p. 87) Children need positive role models in their life and someone to look up to in life and most children have their television characters. Parents can usually see the signs in a child just by the way they are when watching a certain television show, and the way that they act if they cannot see the television show is a sign that a parent needs to watch the television show to see what it is that is addicting about the show to their child to make them act out. There are many different types of signs to help parents know if the show that your child is watching is appropriate for them or if it is not appropriate for them. Some of the signs that parents want to look for is if they have trouble in school, with drawn away from friends and family just to name a few, and if you see these problems then as a parent should step in and try to pull the child/children away from the television shows that they watch. Some say that it cannot be done but studies have shown that if there is more quality time spent between parents and their child/children then they will more than likely not have the desire to watch television. Over the past 2 weeks I have been conducting my own personal study on how to keep your children from watching too much television and kept some notes on the effects it had on them. They are more a fan of watching different television shows and not wanting to even play with their toys. So one day I went to the store and bout some board games, activity books, coloring books, learning flash cards and even some reading books. What it is that I have found is that if I just took an hour of my time to interact with them to help get them started and interested in one of the activity’s that I have bought and got them started on one of them with me that I could leave them and do my school work, house work and even cook dinner and not one-time did I hear the words “I want to watch television Aunt Becca!” So if parents just make the time to take time out of your time just to get them interested is a tremendous outcome in the end.
Obesity is one of the most dangerous side effects that are found in children that watch more television than get out and do physical activities. When children watch television after eating or while eating breakfast, snacks, lunches, and dinner are found that they don’t want to get up, stop watching television and go outside and play with friends or siblings. Now they are doing nothing to help burn off the calories that they are consuming then they run a risk at becoming obese and develop other health issues later in life. According to "How T.V. Effects Your Child" (1995-2012), “Studies have shown that decreasing the amount of TV kids watched led to less weight gain and lower body mass index (BMI — a measurement derived from someone's weight and height)”. One of the things that can help children avoid becoming hungry while watching television is by trying to minimize the commercials, because commercials are filled with yummy foods and snacks that they like to eat. One of the things to help with that would be when there is a commercial on pull them away to do some sort of activity like, clean their room, fold cloths, or just by even having them come in and explain what it is that is going on in their television show. Monitoring what children watch on television is one of the best things that you can do to keep our children from becoming obese, violent, dependent on television, and less disruptive in school.
In conclusion there are many different pros and cons of television and the effects that it has on children can go both ways, but it is up to the parents to make sure that their children get the physical activity, mental education and correct role models that they need to make sure that they live a more healthier and active life style. Because our children are the future of America and parents want to make sure that their future is going to be a bright and active life.
PEDÜK, Dr. Ş. B. (2012, January). A STUDY ON CHARACTERISTISCS OF PARENTS’ TV VIEWING AND CHILDREN’S OPINIONS ON THE CARTOONS THEY WATCHED. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(1), 224-233.
How T.V. Effects your child. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.nemours.org/content/nemours/wwwv2/patientfamily/khlibrary/articles/21720.html
Willson, B. J. (2008, Spring). Media and Children’s Aggression, Fear, and Altruism. , 18(1), 87-118.