By Maha Shakil
Cartoons are the most popular entertainment for children. Currently there are plenty of TV channels that broadcast different cartoons for children non-stop. Whereas previously children spent their time in outdoor activities playing with their peers and enjoying different games, now they prefer watching their favorite characters on TV and get stuck in front of TV sets at home for long hours.
Mostly children begin watching cartoons on television at the early age of six months, and by the age of two or three they become the enthusiastic viewers.
In fact, watching TV in moderation can be a good thing. Preschoolers can get help learning the alphabets on public television, school kids can learn about wildlife on nature shows, and parents can keep up with the current events by watching evening news. No doubt about it, television can be an excellent educator and entertainer. But Television has some disadvantages also:
- Children who consistently spend more than 3 hours a day watching TV are more likely to be overweight.
- Kids who see violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior.
- TV characters often display risky behavior, such as smoking and drinking, and may also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
Usually children watch television too much, which makes them addicted to it. For long hours children spend time in front of the television. They watch cartoons even when they eat, because some parents believe it gets easier to feed babies watching television.
But parents do not have an idea how cartoons affect their children so badly and how harmful is this for their psychological health.
Cartoons are healthy entertainment and a good effective source of learning for children. Parents should pay more attention to providing selected cartoons to their children which could have a positive impact on them. Parents must control the time children spend on watching TV. They can choose appropriate cartoons for their children. It would be better if parents also regularly watch and discuss the characters of cartoons with their children. This way they will not only keep their kids away from violence but also direct them to different other activities.
There are some things we can do as parents to limit the amount of violence our children are exposed to. Educational and quality cartoons are a good way to instill positive values in a child. The government has taken steps to increase the amount of educational programming available to children. Set a time limit for the amount of television a child watches and monitor the cartoons they are watching. Become aware of the cartoons that contain violence and replace them with powerful learning programs that teach and uplift a child.
We have now seen all the facts on both sides of the argument. It should be clear that we are faced with a very devastating problem. If children continue to watch these shows we maybe are faced with a society of very angry aggressive adults in a few years. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to educate their children and help protect them from the harmful effects of these cartoons. Our only hope is that we can do enough so that this next generation of children is not so violent.
Maybe one day we can come to the point where children are so used to watching wholesome quality television that these violent shows will die out.
Let’s protect our children from the negative impact of the media! Because healthy children mean a healthy future!
Story first published: 9th March 2017