Let’s admit it. We love watching television. In fact, we love it so much that we can spend hours just sitting in front of our small boxes just to get our dose of must-see TV. Television offers us all kinds of things to keep our eyes glued to the small screen such as late night talk shows, hit comedy sitcoms, and games shows that keep you guessing which briefcase contains a million dollars. With all the hours we spend on watching television, there is no doubt that somehow it has influenced us somehow. Although that it can influence attitudes of adults, older audiences can discard certain themes since we already have our own preferences.
However, television can be a very dangerous influence to young children who are still developing their brains. This paper shall discuss the negative influences of television on children and how these problems can be solved. Sex is a common problem that parents encounter with television. Some shows usually have sexual themes that are not suitable for young audiences. These images may stay with the child as they grow up and lead them to become sexually active in a very early age. Since they do not have adequate information about sex in early ages, this can cause a child to become pregnant or get infected with STDs.
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Aside from seeing these images, television shows may also have scenes wherein the characters are discussing sex. This is just as dangerous as seeing these images for they can also affect the child by making them more curious about what the characters are talking about. To give you an idea how violence can be a great influence on children, American viewers see an average of “200,000 acts of violence before they reach the age of 18” (How TV affects your Child) and this can be a very serious problem in the future if it is not addressed properly.
Violence on television causes some problems such as emulating the images they see, traumatic stress on the child, and loss of sympathy to those who are suffering. Protagonists in TV shows have great influence on children. Whenever children see their favorite superhero kicking or punching the “bad guy” and save eventually “saving the day” they will think that these actions are correct as long as the superhero does it. Aside from suggesting violent actions to children, children may imitate these actions for fun because they would imagine themselves as these superheroes.
Aside from causing children to imitate violent actions, these images may also cause trauma to a child. Frightening images of monsters may have some traumatic side effects on children since they still cannot distinguish the difference between the real world and a fictional one. Finally, watching too much violence on television can lead to a loss of sympathy towards people who are suffering. Just like an antagonist who fails in the end of the show, children would think that those who are suffering deserve it since they have done something bad before.
Finally obesity is another problem that parents may face with television. TV can cause children to reduce their time to play and exercise since they will be sitting down for hours. Aside from becoming very passive, children usually tend to have snacks while watching due to the commercial of the famous brand potato chips they just saw. So not only will they lack exercise, children will also begin to eat kinds of food that do not have any nutritional value, which is a very important factor in growing up.
Aside from obesity, television can also cause a child to become anti-social since they would usually spend more hours watching rather than interacting or playing with others. As we have seen in this paper, television can be a very dangerous influence on children. However, there are things that we can do solve this dilemma. First of all, parents need to always monitor what their children are watching. This will allow the parent to keep their child from watching shows that are inappropriate for their age.
Parents should also be familiar with the shows that their children are watching so they could see immediately whether or not their child can watch the show. Parents should also reason out to the child whenever they are watching television. They need to explain to their child the images they see on television to prevent them from imitating these images or seeing them in the wrong light. Works Cited “How TV affects your child. ” KidsHealth. org. 20 Sept. 2007 <http://www. kidshealth. org/parent/positive/family/tv_affects_child. html> “Facts and Statistics. ” Parentstv. org. 20 Sept. 2007 <http://www. parentstv. org/PTC/facts/mediafacts. asp>
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