Children And TV Essay, Research Paper
Children and TV
Children and adolesence?s spend almost 22-28 hours per week
watching television. This is a sad fact because this is
the largest amount of hours spent on any activity in your
child?s life, aside from sleeping. Television has a large
influence on children?s attitudes, ideas, and behaviours.
Teens witness 10,000 murders, rapes and aggravated
assaults per year on TV, and four out of five Americans
believe that violence on television directly contributes
to the way children view violence. When children watch
TV, they see other made up families, who deal with
their problems different from how anyone else would.
Children assume that this is how their life should be.
We should teach out children about the reality of TV
because television can affect the way a child acts,
thinks, and feels about different issues such as violence,
education/morality, and gender/racial stereotypes.
TV glorifies violence and weapons, and teaches children
that the easiest way of resolving problems is through
violence. Children?s programs such as ?Power Rangers? or
?The X-Men? portray world-saving heroes that children look
up to and admire. They assume that if the strong,
invincible heroes are around, the world is a safe place
to be where they are free form harm. When really,
they don?t understand these characters don?t exist and
can?t save them or the world from those that would hurt
them. Parents must teach their children that these
people are not real, don?t exist, can?t save the
world, that it isn?t possible for anyone to do this
on their own, and that at one time or another, everyone
needs someone?s help. TV programs such as these shows
also can frighten children too. They may be frightened
by the ugly, strong villains. We must teach children
that all villains are not scary, powerful or ugly but
they do try to fool people, young and old. It is very
easy for children to lose their own sense of reality
while watching shows that contain violence. They
must be taught otherwise and how to be smart about
TV and what they are watching.
Shows like ?Sesame Street? and ?Mister Rogers Neighbourhood
? have been around since 1969. Not only that, these shows
are very educational programs designed for children. If
children watch these types of shows, they will also try to
portray their favourite heroes such as the ?Power Rangers?
except now with no violence. A child’s reaction all
depends on what they are exposed to. The age of the child
also plays a large factor on how a program teaches these
children. For example, viewing ?Sesame Street? at the age
of 3-3 1/2 has a positive effect on a childs vocabulary.
Ages 5-7 require vocabulary at a higher level than what is
shown on ?Sesame Street?. The effects of educational
programs depend on variables such as: a parents education,
the family size, the sex of the child, and parental
attitudes. Television also plays a strong role on a
child?s developing morality. Children who watch TV
programs that affect their morality such as ?Jerry
Springer? may tend to have a higher pregnancy or criminal
rate than others who don?t watch the same shows.
The nature of this kind of show, and their air times
are also problems because then children are able to watch
these shows without parental explanation to what they are
seeing. These show affect adults as well. If an adult
can?t handle them, how can children be expected to?
When children watch TV, they are strongly influenced by
racial stereotypes. Even though it?s changed greatly over
the past decades, black people are usually still depicted
negatively, as criminals or as the victims. This has a
great affect on a child of that race. When people of
their own race do not appear on television, these children
may feel as though they are not important in society.
They may discover that it is hard to find am appropriate
role model of their on culture, this can result in a
negative effect on their developing self-esteem. There
should be people of all races included in TV programs
interacting with each other, rather than show exclusively
of white people or shows exclusively of black people.
Television also affects children?s gender stereotypes.
Males are typically depicted as being more powerful, an
competent than females. They are also shown in
stereotypical occupations, whereas women are largely
portrayed as sex objects.
In order to help resolve the problems on TV,
there are many steps parents can take to avoid them:
they can limit TV viewing by teaching children not to
depend on TV as their only source of entertainment.
Parents should limit viewing to 1-2 hours per day, and
teach them to spend time talking or playing. You can
also monitor what your child is watching, by watching TV
and movies with your children and by discussing what is
being seen, Teach your child that violence on TV is not
real and explain that in reality, people, including
children are hurt and killed by guns. Children must be
guided into doing the right thing by their parents instead
of watching the violence shown on TV because it shows how
it is okay to use force to solve their problems. TV also
gives the impression to children that education is not
needed in order to succeed in life, and that stereotypes
are also shown to be considered that there is no harm in
teasing others that are different from themselves and
different from what is the accepted normality of society.