The average child watches television 2 hours per week and most of this viewing is of violence or sexual acts. During this time there is a violent act shown every 6 minutes and on Saturday mornings there is 20 to 25 violent acts shown every hour on prime time t. v. especially in cartoons or animated programs. So no matter what your child is watching it is damaging their sense of imagination and creativity. Now there is no need for children to use their imagination and creativity anymore, television has even taken that away from them.
In today’s generation television has a great influence on children. Unfortunately most of the programs watched by children have a negative impact and give the wrong impression of what really happens in everyday life. It also influences their development and their behaviours. “In fact childhood development experts say infants as young as 14 months old imitate behaviour they see on t. v and children up to the age of 5 lack the cognitive ability to distinguish fact from fantasy”(Internet; Children and television violence) Therefore what they see on t. is what they are most likely to imitate. Cartoons are even showing numerous acts of violence and most of this violence is done by the “good guys”. For example, Power Rangers; how do they get rid of the bad guys? by fighting. During the whole episode you see the “Rangers” kicking, punching and attacking the bad guys. Other shows like X-men, Sailor Moon, Looney Tones, and even Care Bears show violence towards others. It’s no wonder children think it’s okay to act this way when even their “Super Heroes” who are supposed to be the good guys are hurting others.
They see the good guys doing these things and think it’s appropriate. I’ve notice even with my own cousin that when he has finished watching an episode of Power Rangers he tends to get aggressive and hyper-active. He copies the exact same moves that the Power Rangers use. It’s almost like he believes he is one of them. He believes that when he punches people or kicks them that it doesn’t hurt because that’s what he sees on t. v. It’s not like you see the characters ever show any pain. Even when he plays with his friends they pretend that they are Power Rangers vs. he bad guys and fight each other.
Shows like this even have the use of guns, which I don’t believe in. In schools, teachers have noticed the difference between children who watch television excessively and those who don’t. “The watchers fidget in their chairs, eye contact is less stable and their attention to stories is significantly shortened”. (George Hottecker; The Big Picture pg1) Children who watch t. v find it harder to stay focused on one activity more then a child who doesn’t. This can make them have problems with group activities and act out negative behaviour towards others.
Although all this sounds bad you can fix the problem by simply eliminating the watching of so much television and getting the to do more creative things like. Some examples are painting, reading books, acting out stories with puppets, dancing, and just getting them to interact with other children their own age in a safe and positive way. George Hottecker mentions these examples as positive ways of changing their behaviours and that “television just numbs the brain! ”(The Big Picture; Internet; George Hottecker)
So what you once thought was a good idea by letting your children watch television has turned out to be a bad one. You thought that letting them watch television would make them smarter, but it only made them more violent and have less creativity and imagination. Breaking the cycle of violence begins with children learning to interact with each other in positive ways and with little or no violence. If we can accomplish this then our children are more likely to send the same message to their children and spend quality time with them. In the future don’t let the television be the babysitter.