Television and its effects on children
Kim Capehart, MD, DDS, MBA
Ever noticed how television has not only became a major part of most family's lives, it has also become an important family member as well? The time that most families spend together is far less than how much time these same families spend watching television. Children nowadays are being cheated out of their childhood innocence. “The first two years of life of children are considered a critical time for brain development” (Ijaz, 2011). Since the first years are critical for brain development, television and computers can affect how the child plays, interacts with others, and develops ...view middle of the document...
“To help give a perspective on the damage, and how much violence kids see on TV, consider that the average American child will witness 200,000 violent acts on television by age 18”. (The Nemours Foundation, 1995-2014). These children start to become accustomed, numb, and even more aggressive. Noticeably, TV promotes repetition and imitation, because the violence and aggression displayed is shown to be fun, and have no serious consequences. If a parent ever just sits and watches what these shows are introducing their children to, they would notice that some of this shows promote violence as a good thing by showing the “good guy” doing bad things. This display is known as monkey-see-monkey-do. If a child sees the bad guy kicking, punching, and fighting, then that translates in their minds that it is ok. This will ultimately lead to confusion when trying to help the child differentiate between right and wrong. Obesity is another problem that TV has help root itself into American culture. “Approximately 12.5 million children and teens aged 2-19 are obese, and since 1980, the frequency of obesity amount teens, and children has tripled (Association, 7). Why has the frequency of obese children and teens tripled? The answer is simple; television has turned children lazy, and in contrast, they spend less time outside doing physical activities. Another issue involving television is the fact that incorporations and companies target children, because they vulnerable, and more likely to convince their parents to buy, buy, and buy.
TV does have negative effects on young children, and teens, but there is some good that can come out of this situation. Television isn’t all evil, and violent, especially if the parents are supervising as supposed to. When parents are more involved in with what their children see, they can encourage learning. One thing children can learn from supervised television is information on new cultures. For example, Dora introduces boys and girls to the Spanish language, and culture while still providing a sense of entertainment and fun. Another positive effect is that television can trigger the reading process for children. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, media education can help kids become less susceptible to the bad effects of watching violent TV. Some studies have shown that kids who received media education had less violent behavior after watching violent programs.” (Systems, 2014) Shows such as Sesame Street provide a vast amount of information on not just numbers, but also the alphabet and encourage children to develop skills such as reading. Mentioning shows such as Sesame Street shows that educational programs are quite useful for the young, growing mind. Media education can help lower the chances of children becoming vulnerable to the negative effects of violent television shows. These educational shows, combined with media education can help encourage children of all ages to develop learning and practice...