In the recent years, there’s always been a debate on what kind of content should children be allowed to view. Parents are always in a constant dilemma as to what exactly their children should be watching on television and for what duration. And with the kind of unfiltered content being popularly broadcasted, it’s quite puzzling for parents to cope with the advent of technology and the inevitable downside of bad parenting.
Let’s talk about children in the age group of 4-13 years of age. These years are what I would like to call, the cementing years for a child’s holistic development. Children are the most innocent at this age. They learn and inculcate all the good habits. These are the crucial years where children learn those important bits which are essential to form a strong core, a formidable human being. This is the same age where children can go horribly astray. Watching adult entertainment content (not vulgarity), non-educational and the worst of all, violent content can have a highly detrimental effect on their mental health.
In the recent past, I have observed that well-educated parents, with access to technology, are turning a blind eye towards the television viewing habits among their children. They make sure that their child gets the best of education in school, but what happens after school? I totally side by the fact that children are entitled to their time of television viewing, whether it is educational or entertainment. But what’s of utmost importance is monitoring what they watch. Watching entertainment programs on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon helps the child relax his brain and also learn different languages and dialects. Watching educational programs on channels such as National Geographic or Discovery, not only opens the mind to knowledge that is not taught in their daily curriculum but also helps them boost their creativity.
I have observed among some relatives of mine who have kids between the age group of 6-12, are quite okay with their kids watching adult entertainment programs on channels such as Sony Sab, Star Plus or Colours. It’s deeply saddening to see that parents don’t realise that such kind of content has a disturbing and harmful effect on the child’s brain. It corrupts their innocent thought process. There are often talks of children turning violent or aggressive as an after effect of viewing brutal content on television not meant for their intellectual understanding. There are even cases of children committing suicide or trying dangerous stunts as a result of exposure to vulnerable content.
We must realise that watching television has a significant impact on a child’s attitude and behaviour. Television programs have both positive and negative effects on a child’s moral formation. It is of utmost importance that parents as well as schools, educate children on TV viewing and what kind of programs they should be watching and what they shouldn’t. Grooming of the mind and soul happens at home and it is the responsibility of the parents to supervise and inculcate good habits among their children. Old habits die-hard and good habits go a long way. That’s the key!