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Television and Children
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Since the early 1970s a significant change has occurred on the relationship between children and television. For the past three decades researchers have described a child as unreceptive, naïve and uncritical receiver of television ideas and information (Gerber, 2006).Moreover most parents have considered television watching as to be ‘’waste of time’’. Consequently children have brought out their opinion by arguing that that television is a social educator, a babysitter, a technological media for mass consumer socialization and an architect of questionable moral social behavior. Most recently, however parents, policymakers, researches, teachers and consumer activist groups have greatly shown concerned in trying to clarify the composite and the wide spread controversies about children and television .
The latest famous literature on children and television has led many think that television is taking over the roles of school as the main institution for children socializing, medium for transmitting cultural knowledge and moral values, and in shaping life and society (Hawkins, 2008). Some teachers have commented on how television has interfered and intruded into the classroom. In the school, children have replicated behaviors, interaction and relationship from those of television programs. It is little more than an exercise in counting the endless time and television programs watched by children.
By watching television violence teenagers and children become less caring, less sensitive and lose their inhibitions. In a study on the relationship between violence and television carried out with 1,460 children boys over a five-year period in London, Abelson, a British psychologist, established that each time a child viewed somebody being killed or shot on television they resulted to be less caring towards other individuals (Hawkins, 2008).Abelson also found that each time a child saw television violence, it led to loss of a fragment of their inhibitions towards other children. In addition to Abelson study, studies carried out by doctors and scientists review that watching television violence result to viewers becoming less sensitive to the pain of there colleagues.
Consequently, television violence causes aggressive behavior in many children. Many people suppose that children who view violent television programs display more aggressive behavior than that which is displayed by children who do not watch .According to the findings of many reports and studies, frequent watching violence on television can result to aggressive behavior in children. Also, when television was first introduced into a population of children, researchers observed an increase in verbal aggression and level of physical violence among these children (Gerber, 2006).
In conclusion, parents should try as much as possible to control their children from watching television programs that are likely to result to harmful results to children such sexual stereotype and imitation of violence. The time set to watch television should be controlled as much as possible regardless of the content being watched as it is a waste of time that could be used to carry out other reasonable activities such as reading books. However it is certainly true that television does not account for all the negative behaviors found on children. There would be no better recommendation than for parents and social programmers guiding and controlling these fragile minds of the future.