Which TV Program Is More Harmful to a Child?
Which TV Program Is More Harmful to a Child? Website
Satellite revolution has created countless diversified channels offering programs that suit everyone’s taste, Some are for children, some for the youth, some for women and some for men. However, the majority has no specific identity and is only interested in making money,TV is chock-full of programs and commercials that often depict sex and substance abuse as cool, fun, and exciting. There’s no discussion about the consequences of drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, and having sex outside wedlock. People naively assume that TV channels dedicated to a certain age group must have clear regulations of censorship or monitoring when broadcasting programs. Parents love to believe that it’s safe to have their children watch channels airing only cartoons since they don’t have any violent or sexual scenes. Unfortunately, the reality is the very opposite. There’s so much violence in children’s cartoons that varies from murders using guns and knives to mortal combats that include scenes of physical violence. There are also programs featuring ghosts and magic. These programs could be cartoons, real life TV or series and most of them are in the Arabic language. As for other channels, the debate is long and exhausting. Programs and series are broadcast chaotically without considering peak hours where children could lay their hands on the remote and flip through channels. If airing programs containing violence or sexual scenes would be after 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., things could be somewhat controlled. Sadly, shows offering violence and obscene scenes could be watched anytime of the day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV a day — even though the AAP guidelines say children older than 2 should watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming. And, according to the guidelines, children under age 2 should have no “screen time” (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) at all. During the first 2 years, a critical time for brain development, TV can get in the way of exploring, learning, and spending time interacting and playing with parents and others, which helps young children develop the skills they need to grow cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. I know a lady who allows her children to watch the horror film Scream that contains so much violence and death scenes. However, she would severely punish her children if they were caught watching romantic movies or comic series. The same lady allows the children to watch Harry Potter with all its wizards and witchcraft details. I don’t understand how this woman believes that romantic and sexual images have worse impact on children than violence and witchcraft? In my opinion, for a child to watch a romantic kiss or a passionate hug is less destructive than murder and torture scenarios on TV. Since the 1950s, literally thousands of studies have asked whether there is a link between exposure to media violence and violent behavior. All but 18 have answered, “Yes.” The evidence from the research is overwhelming. According to the AAP, “Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.” The University of Michigan’s development and behavioral pediatricians and child psychologists who are experts in child behavioral health conducted a study about the impact of television on children. According to the study, an average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18; two-thirds of all programming contains violence; programs designed for children more often contain violence than the fare offered by adult TV; most violent acts go unpunished on TV and are often accompanied by humor; many shows glamorize violence; TV often promotes violent acts as a funny and effective way to get what you want, without consequences. Even “good guys” beating up “bad guys” gives a message that violence is normal and OK. Many children will try to be like their “good guy” heroes in the play. Children imitate the violence they see on TV. Children under age eight cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy, making them more vulnerable to learning from and accepting as reality the violence they see on TV. Repeated exposure to TV violence makes children less sensitive toward its effects on victims and the human suffering it causes. Watching television violence can have long-term effects. •A 15-year-long study by University of Michigan researchers found that the link between childhood TV-violence viewing and aggressive and violent behavior persists into adulthood. •A 17-year-long study found that teenaged boys who grew up watching more TV each day are more likely to commit acts of violence than those who watched less. Even though television educates and enlightens children, it could affect their health, their family life and their adulthood. Children are the future generations; we want to nourish them instead of destroying their morals and behavior. My plea to satellite owners and parents is that they must rethink their plans to help better the environment for the healthy growth of our children.