Do not dump your child in front of the TV
Do not dump your child in front of the TV
July 8, 1993
WHEN Solomi went to investigate the commotion amongst the children as they watched TV, she was shocked. In full view, in front of four to seven years olds, on the screen, was a pornographic scene of intercourse on sand! This when it was a martial arts movie!
Bharat and Divya had a similar experience. They were to go out to dinner, so they picked up ‘Cinderella’ for their daughters from the video library, little realizing that blue films are often given titles of fairly tales to hoodwink the authorities.
Maya’s children asked if they could watch WWF on Star TV. Thinking it was a World Wildlife Fund program, she agreed. It took her weeks to discover it meant World Wrestling Federation. She soon found her children had become more violent and they spoke in an unexplainably nasty tone and manner which she later realized was the style on WWF.
The late night cable TV may show a movie with adult themes or a pornographic bent, it is therefore important that the parents do not install a cable TV connection in the children’s room. They will have to control on late night TV watching.
Television becomes a major hazard when parents seat the children in front of the TV when they themselves are too tired or want to be left alone. At such times parents may not come to check what the children are viewing.
It is important that parents interpret what children see on screen.
Excessive violence must be criticized as socially disapproved behaviour and viewing of such programs kept to the minimum.
Watching too much violence, torture and cruelty on screen desensitizes children. That is, it takes away the sensitiveness from their nature veering it towards cruelty. They see punches, blows and firing of guns as regular behaviour. They do not see the damage caused by such physical attacks. They do not consider violent behaviour as unusual and accept it more readily as normal behaviour in real life when they become adults.
It is important that empathy be nurtured in children so that they grow up to understand and regard others’ perspectives with respect. They become therefore more helpful and understanding adults and more balanced individuals. Parents can do this by telling to toddler. ‘If you pull my hair it hurts me, then, I don’t want to be near you.”
According to Michael Chandler of the University of Rochester, “a child’s anti-social behaviour may stem from his inability to see the world from any one’s point of view but his own.”
Children should be made aware that unrealistic situations that might be portrayed on TV are far removed from reality. Further, movies generally stereotype characters. All these stereotypes can influence a child’s attitude towards people and life.
Besides, glamour attracts children, and most movies show villains having a wonderful time and gaining attention by their antisocial acts. Children may be more attracted to villains due to the glamour and feeling of power and comfort they exude. They may identify with them as role models to fashion their personality after.
Moreover, children may be glued to the TV set and communication within the family may suffer, since when watching TV a child will not like to converse or interact with the family. It might also upset children’s study, sleep and meal time schedules. Depending upon the programs watched, a child’s pronunciation or language used can be affected. TV can also keep children away from outdoor activity, fresh air and exercise.
If children always watch programs with happy endings, they expect every thing in their lives also to turn out right. This could give rise to unrealistic expectations. If this does not happen in their personal lives, they might imagine they are being discriminated against may be by a particular group of people.
It is therefore important to protect children from false or glamorized concepts of which the world is all about. TV watching should be limited to a particular time and programs selected for viewing.
In today’s media boom and satellite television, we must make an extra effort to keep some control on TV watching and keep our children in touch with reality, so that their social and personal adjustments in life are well balanced.
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