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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.

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