Studies show that violence on television does have an adverse affect on children and the way they think and act. This is true not only for young children, but some recent studies indicate that watching violence on television can even impact adults.
We know that for the most part, children learn from both experience and social learning or role modeling. Therefore, when children, especially young children, see violence on television, they have a difficult time differentiating between what is real or what is make believe, and tend to emulate or copy what they are seeing. Furthermore, there is a chemical change in the brain, similar to that which is seen in post-traumatic stress disorder; if enough violence is viewed, the brain reacts as if the person doing the viewing has actually been abused. This is especially true if the violence is one sided, as in the case of sadistic violence. Now add to this the fact that children who watch violence on television have brains that are still developing, and you can see how really dangerous TV viewing can be.
We know, for instance, that children are psychologically affected by having less empathy, a characteristic we see in bullies; that they are more likely to use aggressive strategies to solve their problems rather than to search for more peaceful methods of conflict resolution; that they tend to be more reactive rather then proactive -- relying more on knee-jerk reactions to resolve frustrations; and finally, that they appear to be more fearful of social relationships which make them bite before they can be bitten. This perception of danger, when coupled with a lack of empathy, can lead to sadistic behavior. Moreover, children seeing too much violence on TV are more likely to be argumentative, as they have dispensed with the slow caution of inhibitors. These children act out in class and are more likely to be the class bully. Since they seem to be less patient than their counterparts, studies show that children who watch too much violence on TV appear to be more unwilling to cooperate, and delay gratification. Therefore, they seem to demonstrate a strong sense of entitlement.
In addition, there are other potential dangers to violent TV viewing and one of the most disturbing is that young children become more violent themselves as teenagers, and tend to have more encounters with the law as adults.
What can parents do about it? Parents have a number of remedies at their disposal and they include:
1. Parents have the power to moderate their children's TV viewing. Parents are entitled to parent and that includes checking in every once and a while to monitor what their children are actually watching on TV.
2. Parents can and should establish house rules for TV viewing. This means how many hours a week, where TV is to be watched, as well as what kind of programming.
3. Parents should supervise their children's TV viewing by watching at least one episode of whatever their children's selections are so that the parents decide if the programming is appropriate.
4. Parents should monitor news programs. Repetitive violence in the news is very disturbing to a young mind. Such violent overload can be directly linked to changes in the brain similar to that seen in abuse. In fact, these changes can actually be viewed on an MRI.
5. Parents should view current events on television with their children so that they can explain any confusing or inappropriate material to their children.
6. Just say "no" to offensive programming. That is what it is to be a parent.
7. Encourage your children to spend their free time in ways other then TV watching, such as reading a good book during the week and watching TV only on the weekends; outdoor sports; arts and crafts; journal writing and playdates with peers can alter, and even break, the hypnotic TV habit.
8. Boundaries are important to you and your children. Set them by creating new models for family time that are interactive rather than passive.
9. Show your children the inspirational part of TV, such as the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, Biography, and Nova.
10. Finally, parents must be what they want to see. Modeling is an essential part of parenting, and since we know that violence on TV negatively affects adults as well, lead your family to healthier viewing and happier living together.
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Essay Negative Effects of Television on Children
1562 Words7 Pages
Television is a big part of today’s society. Everybody watches television, including the children. There is a potential problem with letting children watch television. Ask this question, would someone let their own child watch some of the programming that they watch, too? Some of these programs are intended for the adult generation, not young children. Violence has a major role in television these days. Letting children watch this violence could corrupt their minds and eventually lead to bad behavior. There needs to be a limitation on the types of television programming that parents let their children watch, because violence in television can negatively affect children.
Throughout the years, violence has become more common in television…show more content…
If parents restrict their children in only watching educational shows rather than violence, the influence of children would rather be more useful and not corrupted.
Children view violence in different ways when they watch it on television, whether it is cartoons or a type of drama and action programming. After children have watched these television shows, they may have interpreted the meaning into a negative behavior. It could influence them by becoming aggressive, afraid of the world that surrounds them, or it may lead to confusion. When it is said that children may become confused because their parents teach that violence is wrong. When they view someone in a “superhero” position participating in violence, they may see that as it is all right for the simple fact the good person does the action. According to the American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, “the impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later (AACAP, 2011).”
While violent influences that impact children negatively, they may participate in different behavior. On the contrary, children who watch education television shows were more likely to do better in school. According to the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) department: “What is notable about this research, however, is that it is the kind of television that