Children love to watch TV and prefer to stay “glued” to the TV screen all day, rather than playing outside. In the USA, 47% of children ages 2 to 18 years have a television set in their bedrooms. On a typical day, they spend on average of 5. 5 hours using media, including television, computer games and the Internet (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001). TV is the number one after-school activity for 6 to 17 years old. Although television is loved by children and has helped them a lot, it has influenced them in a negative way. Over the past decade television has become a big part of a child’s routine. Even though many parents feel that it is just there for entertainment or another form to keep a child company o it still may have a negative influence on them without the parents or guardians even knowing. Even though many television sets or cable companies now have parental locks/guards children can still be influenced or exposed to negative behavior, not age appropriate language thru shows, commercials etc. Television does not only influence negative behavior but it also takes time away from a child’s social and educational time. Many children who watch a lot of television is likely to have lower grades, read less, even become overweight. In the past 10-15 years television has changed drastically. The amount of violence, sexuality, drug and alcohol abuse that is shown and really is the main theme of many shows today really does have an effect on a child’s way of seeing or portraying how life can be. An adult may see a television show with all of the above in it and think and know that all of is not real it’s just for entertainment. As, for a child they perceive it as being true, that it’s really happening or that it’s normal and safe to act or do the things they do. Especially if the parents allows them to watch the program. It may not even be a television show, it can be the cartoons that are now being done and how the news portrays the world and the events that occur. Many advertisements and commercials are even a bit too much for a child to watch. Many may agree that the way television shows are for kids now has changed drastically. Over the past years they have created so many networks like Nickelodeon, cartoon network, nick Jr, Disney, and many many others! There is even an option on certain cable companies to have the favorite shows available anytime of the day. Although many of the cartoons are harmless they do show violence and many of the shows do show a lot of being disrespectful, having different attitudes so when children, pre teens see this they think it’s cool or that’s how they should act because their favorite child actor or teen idol does it. There are a few decent programs and networks that do show positive and educational information. It may be hard for many parents to get very strict or to monitor every moment a child watches television because of how society is today. We now live in a time where both parents need to work everyone is very busy, you hardly see the importance of a family eating dinner around a table, if you visit someone’s home you would probably notice everyone is doing their own thing whether its mom or dad on a computer/laptop, a sibling playing video games while another is watching television or texting on their phone. So when a parent does notice or wants to cut back on television time even gaming it’s too late or becomes very difficult because the child has that routine and it can become difficult to change or even get the child to understand why they shouldn’t spend so much time playing video games or watching television. That’s when it becomes important to teach a child from when they are very small and also have limits for them. There have been debates on how television has changed. Many like the baby boomers cannot believe how different it has become. They remember just having cartoons on maybe 1 or 2 channels. Nothing like with how it is today. Many also don’t see the problem; many adults think its nice having the variety of different cartoons and programs for children because they didn’t have it while growing up. But, there are also a big percentage of parents who feel that some programs go too far and are concerned of what the future of children’s television will become. There are many ways that parents can do to help their children from watching so much television and getting them more involved in programs or simply just turning the television off for a few hours a day. Many articles simply state that if they don’t want to turn off the television they can watch television with their children and select the appropriate shows for them to watch. Others suggest having limits of the amount of television they are allowed to watch during the week. Simply turning it off during meals, and study time which also helps the child, so that they can see the importance to focus while studying and the importance of having meals with the family. For those parents who are always working or very busy then they have the option if their cable company offers it, they can block and set a timer for what they can see and how long they can watch the television. As time goes by if parents become more involved in what their child is watching then there’s hope for a change. It’s rare to watch regular television without hearing a curse word, or the image of sex or how the ideal man or woman is suppose to look like, so when children feed into all that it can send mixed signals of how they should be or act. So if parents become more pro active and simply monitor and become more involved then hopefully it can change overtime. And it would help the children become more involved with their school work; it would be able to change the rate of obesity and their behaviors. If parents or guardians voice their opinions more eventually someone’s voice would be heard and changes can be made. Until then since this is a way of life many parents should have more precaution and just be more aware
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