Children and Television
Television affects children’s lives. There are many facts to support this opinion. In the following paragraphs I will prove that TV affects children and their behavior. Also I will talk about things related to this topic.
What children watch today affects their lives. Television has a powerful impact on everyone. Many people, even super stars like Madonna feel there children should not watch television. Many of today’s youth and family programs include sexually promiscuity, profanity, coarse joking, and anti family
plots. Before allowing your children to watch television one must take into consideration what influences TV will have on them and what are the consequences of viewing television. Television has a power against our innocent children. People need to take into consideration religion factors, exploration, and the education of our children.
The average child watches three hours of television a day. Children who watch violence on TV are most likely to display on aggressive behavior. Young children do know the difference between programs and commercials. Children in the United States spend more time on viewing television than any other activity except sleep. Television sends strong messages to kids about violence, sex, and alcohol. Brutal violence can be found in the news, primetime programming, music videos, and cartoons. Television glorifies sex and alcohol. Television can confuse our children about their values and abuse there up bringing.
Many religions like Islam and Pentecostal are more concerned peace, family values, and respect. They do not condemn pre-martial sex, abhorrence, violence and waste, and drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, TV promotes all of the above.
Television can disrupt our children’s education and creativity. Time is taking away from our children’s study. The kid’s attention span is smaller. Instead of concentrating on their own imagination, they are concentrating on others creativity. Despite all this negativity, television can be very beneficial. Children who watch educational programs have better math and verbal skills. High quality programs can provide our children with a well rounded education like history, science, humanities, religion, the environment, and much more.
Children need experiences that stimulate and integrate their senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Their senses need to be protected from over stimulation, since young children are literally sponges. Children absorb all they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch from their environment since they haven’t developed the brain capacity to discriminate or filter out unpleasant or noxious sense experience. Our thought brain, the neocortex, represents our highest and newest form of intellect. It receives extensive input from the core (action) brain and limbic (feeling) brain and has the potential of separating itself and being the most objective part of the brain. It connects us to our higher self. The neocortex needs more time to process the images from the action and feeling brains. It is also the part of the brain that has the most potential for the future, and it is the place where our experiences, recollections, feelings, and thinking skills all combine to shape our ideas and actions (Everett 1997Pg.105).The thinking brain is “5 times larger than the other brains combined and provides intellect, creativity thinking, computing and, if developed, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love” (Pearce 1992 pg.50)
By age 4, both the core and limbic brains are 80% myelinated. After age 6-7 the brain’s attention is shifted to the neocortex with myelination beginning first on the right side or hemisphere and later joined by the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere is the more intuitive side of the brain, and it particularly responds to visual images. It grasp wholes, shapes, and patterns and focuses on the big picture rather then the details. It directs drawing and painting and monitors Melodies and harmonies of music. It is especially responsive to novelty and color and is the dominant hemisphere when watching TV. (Healy, 1990, Everett 1997 pgs.122, 102.)
Brain size has been shown to decrease 20-30% if a child is not touched, played with or talked to (Healy 1990 pg.199). In addition, the poor quality of reproduced sound presented to our hearing and the flashing, colored, fluorescent over-stimulating images presented to our eyes cause problems in the development and proper function of these two critical sense organs (Poplawski 1998 pg.60). It is important to realize that a six-year old’s brain is 2/3 the size of an adult’s though it has 5-7 times more connections between neurons than does the brain of an 18-month old or an adult(Pearce 1992 pg.78).
Television has been in existence for the past 80 years, though the broadcasting of entertainment shows did not begin until the 1940’s. In 1950, 10% of American households own a TV set. By 1954, this Percentage had increased to 50%, and by 1960, 80% of American households owned a television. Since 1970, more than 98% of American households own a TV and currently 66% of households own three or more TV’s. Television is on almost 7 hours per day in an average American home. Children of all ages from preschool through adolescence, watch an average of 4 hours of TV per day (excluding time spent watching videos or playing computer games). A child spends more time watching TV then any other activity except sleeping, and by age 18 a child has spent more time in front of a TV than at school. (Internet yahoo.com)
Parents have to regulate and take part of there children’s lives with television. Some things parents can do to control what children watch and protect them are:
*Move your TV to the basement, sunroom, or attic. Having a TV in a prominent place is too tempting. When you want to watch a show, move the tube back to the living room. You may be surprised at how few programs you find worth all this moving.
*Have everyone in the family make lists of activities to do besides watching TV then start doing them.
*Sell all but one TV. Remove extras from bedrooms, the kitchen, and the garage. Use books or tapes or the radio instead of TV as background noise. Instead of using the TV as an electronic baby-sitter as you make dinner, invite children to help plan and make meals. Then leave the TV off while you eat.
*Try to limit viewing to less than five hours a week, not by browbeating by providing fun alternatives for everyone in the family. Avoid using TV as reward and punishment. This increases the power of TV. Have a family meeting and agree on such limits as no morning TV or no TV before all homework is done.
With all these possibilities, parents can secure children’s innocence. People can live without television. There are many more ways to tune out TV. IF some children have a computer they can keep themselves busy with it. Some can play sports go on outings and more. Television is a dangerous factor that can be
The average child watches five hours of TV by time they are in the first grade and nineteen thousand by the end of high school. Children watch TV more than any other single activity. Play a large role in our children’s television’s screening. Do not allow television to shape the attitudes of our children. Whether it’s regulating our children and TV or turning the thing off it must be controlled. When one is going to watch TV they should make it positive activity instead of negative one.
In conclusion even though TV affects children and adults I feel no one will ever stop watching Television. Television is to important and great to watch for people to just stop watching. I know I will not stop because I feel it is very entertaining and sometimes educational. Now we have cartoons like
“Hysteria”, which talk about History in a fun way for kids to watch. Also Sesame Street for our young viewers. If you think that TV programs are going to affect your child or children’s life it is your decision to decide what they should watch.
Everett, Miles. How Television Poisons Children’s Minds.1997 :Miles Publishing.pgs.89-105
Healy, Jane. Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It. 1990 New York:Simon and Schuster. Pgs.89,102,105
Pearce, Joseph Chilton. Evolution’s End:Claiming Our Potential of Our Intelligence.1992:Harper San Francisco.pgs.50,78.
Poplawski, Thomas. “Losing Our Senses”. A journal for Waldodorf Education,Vol.7,No.2,1998.pg.60