Plato And Conservative Christians The views of Plato back in Ancient Greece and that of conservative Christians today about education for children have surprisingly similar views. Plato thought it to be most beneficial for children, if their learning consisted of music and poetry to shape the soul, and of physical training to shape the body. However, only stories that were fine and beautiful should be selected. Stories that co ained falsehoods should be banned along with passages that teach fear of death. The teaching should be done in moderation, only the good endings should be taught and only good deeds of heroes should be told.
Conservative Christians today believe in many of the same ideas as Plato. Instead of music and poetry to shape the soul, the Bible should be the primary learning tool. Only shows that are non-secular and do not contain references to evolution should be allowed for children to watch. Shows that portray death to children should be monitored by parents. At the heart of these ideas, is the concern with cartoons and the effect they have on young children. This way of thinking does more harm to children then it does to protect them.
By shielding them from what actually goes on in this world, i.e. death, sex and non religious views, you are setting them up for a harder time of understanding these concept when they are faced with them in real life. Cartoons can be a wonderful way of exposing children to the evils of this world in a less harmful way. Children are able to relate to cartoons in a special way that we as adults are unable to do. Because of the young age of the children in question, eir innocence is not lost and cartoons have a magical way of relating issues on a program to those that are prevalent in real life. Take for instance the idea of death that is seen in The Lion King or Bambi.
This is the perfect segway for parents to start to teach their children about death. This allows children to see death in a non-realistic way and also gives them the curi ity to ask their parents about it. Parents should not shy away from a subject like this. Death is such a part of life that it needs to be explained to children at the earliest possible time that they are able to comprehend it in just the least. Just ink how much more difficult it would be trying to explain to a five year old that his mother has died, if you as a parent have never even mentioned the notion of death and what it entails to that child. That child would have such more difficulty unders nding that his mother is never coming back if he had been shielded from ever seeing death.
There is the argument that you should protect a childs innocence for as long as possible because once its gone it will never return. There is merit in this argument. However, you have to make the decision on whether you want protect a child for a couple of more years, or explain to them the trials of life and in doing so, making it easier for them to comprehend this world when they are older. A child that never learns about death, will never be able to embrace it and to realize that death is not an ending but a new beginning. Everyone is going to experience death at some point in there life and by learning at a young age what death actuall entails will make it easier for that child when faced with the situation.
Cartoons are given too much credit for shaping the way that young children think and behave. Adults are giving cartoons this credit because they can look at them and see subtleties because they are older and have so much more education. Children on the other hand are watching these cartoons solely as entertainment. They are not comprehending any underlining political or social message these cartoons may be conveying. If there are any political or social messages contained in cartoons, then they e intended for adults and will only be understood by adults.
This also can be applied to the issues regarding death, sex, and violence in cartoons. A good majority of children dont watch cartoons to learn, but rather as a form of entertainment. Violence that is seen in cartoons by children is very rarely, if er emulated by them. If it is in fact emulated by children, it is the fault of the parents and not the cartoons themselves. Parents are responsible for teaching their children what is real and what is fiction.
Parents that rely heavily on cartoons as “babysitter” for their children and do not take the time to talk and educate their children are why children sometimes mimic what is seen in cartoons. Adults, and in particular conservative Christians are the ones to blame for the beliefs that cartoons are harmful and inappropriate for young children. Take for instance the controversy surrounding Disney cartoons. Conservatives have said that the proportion between the breast size and waist size of Disneys female characters is too out of proportion and that Disney is deliberately creating these characters to be sexy. Because of this, conservatives have called for a boycott of Disney cartoons cause they portray the wrong message to our children.
Children are not worried about trivialities like this. They are watching these cartoons purely for entertainment. Adults read too far into situations like this. The children do not even notice th gs like that. And if they dont even notice it, then these adults are using the excuse that it is harmful to our children to benefit their own position.
There is a growing debate on whether certain cartoons are appropriate for young children. Not all cartoons are acceptable for children. However, not all cartoons are intended for children and are geared more for adolescents. These cartoons, such as, South Park and The Simpsons, should not be condemned because their target audience is not young children but rather young adults. These shows should be treated like other shows which are intended for young adults.
Just because they are in anim ed format, does not necessarily mean that they are intended for children. Adults need to realize this and to stop unnecesaringly branding these cartoons. As for the fact that some cartoons are inappropriate for young children and yet the children are still being exposed to them is not the fault of the cartoons directly but that of their parents. If the parents deem certain cartoons to be inappropriate r their children then it is their responsibility to make sure their children do not watch those shows. If parents are around early in their childrens life to educate them about what is real and what is entailed in life, then the problems with cartoons is virtually eliminated.
The reason that parents have a problem with what is depicted in cartoons, i because they are too busy to deal with the issues that are portrayed in cartoons and they feel that cartoons is not the place for their children to learn about the perils of life. If parents would just take to initiative to explain to their children ab t what they are watching in these cartoons, then parents would be a lot more comfortable in allowing their children to watch them. Cartoons can not be expected to eliminate every subject that certain adults or organizations deem to be offensive or controversial. If this was to happen, then children would receive a diluted and false sense of what this world is actually about. By xposing them to nothing offensive or controversial by way of cartoons would be detrimental to childrens growth and development.
By shielding children of the ways of the world, which includes death and violence, they will be ill-prepared to face the ac alities of our world when they need to. The violence that is seen in cartoons can be a good learning tool to show children on how they are not supposed to behave. The violence that is portrayed in cartoons in purely fiction and even the youngest of children can separate the fact that what they are watching in these cartoons is pretend. No child is ever going to believe that he can freeze someone with an ice gun like some cartoon character did. Adults in todays world grew up with violence in cartoons and it is doubtful that any adult could honestly say that the violence they saw in cartoons as a child geared them to violent adults.
An if the biggest argument against violence in cartoons is that it give children nightmares then you have to realize that nightmares are a part of growing up and will happen with or without the effect of cartoons. Cartoons should not be the primary form in educating children. It should be used as a supplement. It is a supplement that children can easily relate issues in cartoons to those of the real world. Parents and teachers need to educate children. If a c ld is learning too much from what he/she sees in cartoons, then it is the fault of the parents for not spending the time needed to insure that their child knows what is actually being said and depicted in the cartoons.
By trying to shield children from the death and violence that is seen on cartoons is not going to stop them from experiencing death or from being violent. Those two things are a part of life. If this is the objective behind the argument that cartoons e detrimental to our childrens development then you have to ask yourself how people became violent or learned about death before cartoons were around to help in the explanation.