Children are influenced by people they see on television, especially other kids. Obviously, this can have a negative result, but it can be positive too. Lately, kids' TV shows have begun promoting some positive agendas such as healthy living and environmental awareness. As kids see their favorite characters making positive choices, they will be influenced in a good way. Parents can also point out positive traits that characters display and thereby spark valuable family discussions.
Media truly can have a positive effect on children, but it is up to the parents, caregivers, and educators in their lives to ensure that kids’ viewing experiences are enriching and not damaging.
Television is especially influential on the children of today. Thirty years ago, not every home had a television; they were considered a luxury that only the rich could afford. Now, most households have two televisions and children watch them incessantly. Many children’s programs are extremely violent and a child can learn violent behavior from watching these programs. The cartoons of today have evolved from the simple cat and mouse chases of “Tom and Jerry,” to much more vivid and violence oriented cartoons such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The teenage-based programs today have a considerably higher amount of teenage pregnancy, teenage drinking, drug use, and domestic violence. Most television shows have mature content that should be restricted to underage teenagers and children, but are so easily accessible to them due to the fact that nearly every child has a television of their own.
Use television programs to prompt discussions about plot and character development. Asking questions as you co-view with your children will help them learn to think, solve problems, and predict, making TV viewing a more active experience. More important than just memorizing facts, developing thinking skills will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Another form of entertainment that can have a strong influence on a child’s behavior is video games. Children today spend hours in front of the television playing video games, most of which have some sort of violent theme. A recent study found that the two most preferred categories were games that involved fantasy violence, preferred by almost 32% of subjects; and sports games, some of which contained violent subthemes, which were preferred by more than 29%. The violence in these video games can desensitize children to violence and alter their perception of reality. It can give them the idea that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflict. Martial arts games are the most popular sold to underage people; most of which have a rating that is intended for adults. As we get more and more technologically advanced, video games become profoundly more realistic with much more blood and gore. Most kids these days have at least one video game console and definitely have at least one martial arts game, so it is easy to comprehend how video games are another form of media violence that are accessible and have a tremendous impact on children.
Another effect is obesity, which is widely observed in people who like watching TV and eating snacks everyday (there is even a term “TV snacks” to refer to fast food that is suitable for eating in front of the TV).
In conclusion, television, music, and video games are all avenues of entertainment that can be fun and sometimes educational for kids. However, these medias can be a horrific influence on children, depending on the content. Children are extremely impressionable and if exposed to violent television, music or video games, they will start to emulate that show, artist or song, or video game with their behavior. These are all so powerful that they should be used to teach children how to problem solve and help them expand their minds, not show them how to kill someone or teach them other violent behavior. It is for these reasons I believe the violence in the media has an everlasting impact on children.
Nowadays children watch a lot of TV and play video games. However, some people think that these activities are not good for a child’s mental health.
The children of today are surrounded by technology and entertainment that is full of violence. It is estimated that the average child watches from three to five hours of television a day. I believe media violence has a profound impact on children. Listening to music is also a time consuming pastime among children. With all of that exposure, one might pose the question, “How can seeing so much violence on television and video games and hearing about violence in music affect a child’s behavior?” Obviously, the media has a tremendous influence on children’s behavior: we can see it in the way they attempt to emulate their favorite rock stars by dressing in a similar style and the way children play games, imitating their favorite cartoon personalities or super heroes. Studies have shown that extensive television viewing may be associated with aggressive behavior, poor academic performance, precocious sexuality, obesity, and the use of drugs or alcohol. Television, video games, and music are very influential and if too much violence is available for children to watch, play, or listen to, this can sway their attitudes in a negative direction.
Where kids are concerned, TV and movies get a bad rap, but with healthy viewing habits and parental supervision, limited “screen time” can be a positive experience for children.
A top athlete’s beauty is next to impossible to describe directly. Or to evoke. Federer’s forehand is a great liquid whip, his backhand a one-hander that he can drive flat, load with topspin, or slice — the slice with such snap that the ball turns shapes in the air and skids on the grass to maybe ankle height. His serve has world-class pace and a degree of placement and variety no one else comes close to; the service motion is lithe and uneccentric, distinctive (on TV) only in a certain eel-like all-body snap at the moment of impact. His anticipation and court sense are otherworldly, and his footwork is the best in the game — as a child, he was also a soccer prodigy. All this is true, and yet none of it really explains anything or evokes the experience of watching this man play. Of witnessing, firsthand, the beauty and genius of his game. You more have to come at the aesthetic stuff obliquely, to talk around it, or — as Aquinas did with his own ineffable subject — to try to define it in terms of what it is not.