October 14, 2012
Ms. Mary Harmon
Television: Educational or Entertainment
When it comes to television programming, there are many different options available for people of all ages. What kinds of television shows are children watching today? Television stations offer ratings that can be helpful with choosing the programming suitable for children to view. The big question is how effective are those ratings and are children watching the right things? When looking for appropriate shows for children, look for the rating it was given. This would be picked based on the content. Also taking the time to view it will help know exactly what content to expect. Children of today like to watch a lot of television. Statics states the 2/3 of infants and children watch television today. Children under the age of 6 watch an average of about two hours of television per day. Children 8-18 years old spend about 4 hours in front of the TV. Now even though they are watching large amounts television it doesn’t mean that it’s all negative. There is education programming out there for children to watch. Children are sponges when they are toddlers that if a parent chooses the right shows their children can actually learn from what they are watching. Even though there are educational options children should still learn other ways other than just the television. Children also need to learn by doing things hands on. There are still things for children to learn that can’t be taught from a television show. It important to remember that when making decisions on what your children should be doing and watching. When it comes to television, it can be both educational and entertaining. Television can be educational in giving children a chance to travel the United States and learn about different cultures and see different things. That can be both entertaining and educational. Traveling can be very expensive and not everyone can afford to do it. Children having the opportunity to travel through what they can see on television and using their creative mind to imagine up can help them learn and create dreams of placed they may want to try going to some day. Another education side of the visual media is positive role models. They can influence children in helping them make positive choices in their daily lives. Children have idols and they want to be like them and act like them, so they will choices based on how they think their idol would think. The entertaining side of television can take away from social activities and spending time with friends and family. Not spending time outside can cause children to gain weight and spend less time interacting with other people. Television also takes away from a child’s time to better their skills in sports they aspire to better themselves in. The content that can be seen while watching television or a movie can be violent. Most visual media glamorizes violence, which is deceiving to children. Many children like to act out or imitate the violence that they see on TV. Children under 8 years old have troubles with the difference between fantasy and reality. Along with choosing appropriate television, ratings are supposed to aid the parents in picking age appropriate choices for viewing. Rating does not have inter-networking consistency. This can cause a problem when switching from channel to channel because some networks may be stricter than other networks. This can cause a problem when looking for age appropriate shows for your child to watch. Another problem is networks have not reduced the content that they show, even after there have been a lot of issues with sexually-oriented content in non age appropriate shows. This is another flaw of television because that content is slipping through the ratings and children are viewing it. They have questions about it or its making them choose to try things they wouldn’t have thought about trying previously. Inappropriate language is another thing that is sneaking through and in to the content shown on television. This is another thing that needs to be adjusted. Younger people tend to repeat things they have heard, whether it’s inappropriate or not. There are many options available for parents to aid them in making sure that children are watching age appropriate television. Parents should take part in their children’s programming choices. Knowing what television shows children are watching gives the opportunity to discuss negative content if it has been seen. Being able to discuss the content as it happening can help answer any questions or address any violent or negative situations. Picking a child’s programming is also very helpful. This will help in knowing what a child is going to be watching before they watch it. Monitoring children’s programming will help ensure that children are watching age appropriate content. Avoiding peer pressure is also important. Talking to children’s friends’ parent and agreeing to similar rules on appropriate shows will help keep everyone on the same page. This will help as a parent know you’re your children are watching something that they would be allowed to watch at home, and the same goes for any child who comes in to visit. This will help take away any worry or issue that may arise. Another thing that is helpful to parents is to be open with children to talk about what they watch and how they feel about it. Being open with children is going to make them more comfortable with coming to you if something is of concern to them. Some things they may come across can raise questions and you want them to know that they can come and discuss any issue at any time. Picking out what television shows are appropriate is not always the easiest thing to do, but going though and viewing what children will be watching before they do can be very helpful. Television has come a long way that it can also be beneficial for toddlers to also watch. Keep in mind though that there is an unhealthy and healthy amount of television that children should be watching. It is important to make sure children spend a decent amount of time with family and friends outside getting fresh air.