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An introduction to the influence of the violence on television has on children

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Gail Gross Studies show that violence on television does have an adverse affect on children and the way they think and act.

  • Therefore, when children, especially young children, see violence on television, they have a difficult time differentiating between what is real or what is make believe, and tend to emulate or copy what they are seeing;
  • It will be used to classify all programs, except for those types exempt from being rated; for example, news, sports, documentaries, talk shows, music videos and variety shows;
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  • Thompson K, Fumie Y;
  • Social, Scientific, Psychodynamic and Clinical Perspectives;
  • Big World, Small Screen:

This is true not only for young children, but some recent studies indicate that watching violence on television can even impact adults.

We know that for the most part, children learn from both experience and social learning or role modeling. Therefore, when children, especially young children, see violence on television, they have a difficult time differentiating between what is real or what is make believe, and tend to emulate or copy what they are seeing.

  1. In Canada, the Media Awareness Network has a number of resources that can be used by both professionals and the public to promote media literacy. Parents have a number of remedies at their disposal and they include.
  2. Nutrition Because television takes time away from play and exercise activities, children who watch a lot of television are less physically fit and more likely to eat high fat and high energy snack foods 9.
  3. Suicide contagion among adolescents. For example, Canadian psychologist Jonathan Freedman concedes that children who watch more violent television also tend to be more aggressive, but, he argues, field experiments have not proven, consistently and as a matter of incontrovertible scientific fact, that watching violent television actually causes viewers to become more aggressive.
  4. Parents can and should establish house rules for TV viewing. Instead, the CRTC said that it expects program encoding to be implemented and V-chip devices to be deployed as soon as is feasible.
  5. Sex between unmarried partners is shown 24 times more often than sex between spouses 32 — 35 , while sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy are rarely mentioned. This is especially relevant when studying the effects of excessive television exposure on disadvantaged populations.

Furthermore, there is a chemical change in the brain, similar to that which is seen in post-traumatic stress disorder; if enough violence is viewed, the brain reacts as if the person doing the viewing has actually been abused. This is especially true if the violence is one sided, as in the case of sadistic violence. Now add to this the fact that children who watch violence on television have brains that are still developing, and you can see how really dangerous TV viewing can be.

We know, for instance, that children are psychologically affected by having less empathy, a characteristic we see in bullies; that they are more likely to use aggressive strategies to solve their problems rather than to search for more peaceful methods of conflict resolution; that they tend to be more reactive rather then proactive -- relying more on knee-jerk reactions to resolve frustrations; and finally, that they appear to be more fearful of social relationships which make them bite before they can be bitten.

This perception of danger, when coupled with a lack of empathy, can lead to sadistic behavior. Moreover, children seeing too much violence on TV are more likely to be argumentative, as they have dispensed with the slow caution of inhibitors.

These children act out in class and are more likely to be the class bully. Since they seem to be less patient than their counterparts, studies show that children who watch too much violence on TV appear to be more unwilling to cooperate, and delay gratification.

Therefore, they seem to demonstrate a strong sense of entitlement. In addition, there are other potential dangers to violent TV viewing and one of the most disturbing is that young children become more violent themselves as teenagers, and tend to have more encounters with the law as adults.

Violence on TV and How It Can Affect Your Children

What can parents do about it? Parents have a number of remedies at their disposal and they include: Parents have the power to moderate their children's TV viewing. Parents are entitled to parent and that includes checking in every once and a while to monitor what their children are actually watching on TV. Parents can and should establish house rules for TV viewing. This means how many hours a week, where TV is to be watched, as well as what kind of programming.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Parents should supervise their children's TV viewing by watching at least one episode of whatever their children's selections are so that the parents decide if the programming is appropriate. Parents should monitor news programs.

Impact of media use on children and youth

Repetitive violence in the news is very disturbing to a young mind. Such violent overload can be directly linked to changes in the brain similar to that seen in abuse. In fact, these changes can actually be viewed on an MRI. Parents should view current events on television with their children so that they can explain any confusing or inappropriate material to their children.

Just say "no" to offensive programming. That is what it is to be a parent.

TELEVISION

Encourage your children to spend their free time in ways other then TV watching, such as reading a good book during the week and watching TV only on the weekends; outdoor sports; arts and crafts; journal writing and playdates with peers can alter, and even break, the hypnotic TV habit.

Boundaries are important to you and your children. Set them by creating new models for family time that are interactive rather than passive. Finally, parents must be what they want to see.

  1. Pediatr Clin North Am.
  2. Parents should also ask alternative caregivers to maintain the same rules for media use in their absence.
  3. Children should be encouraged to criticize and analyze what they see in the media. The physician is in a good position to encourage parents and children to discover the Internet and to use it wisely.
  4. Sceptics are quick to point out, however, that the V-chip, for a variety of reasons, does not represent a panacea.

Modeling is an essential part of parenting, and since we know that violence on TV negatively affects adults as well, lead your family to healthier viewing and happier living together.