How far would you go to protect your children?

  • Would you take a bullet for them?
  • Would you run into a burning building?
  • Would you jump into a raging river?
  • Would you jump in front of a moving vehicle?
  • Would you turn off your television?

Research has shown that television violence can have long-term effects on children.

  • Children’s television programs contain about 20 violent acts each hour and children who watch these shows are likely to think that the world is a mean and dangerous place.
  • Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.
  • Children that watch violent T.V. shows, are more likely to hit their playmates, argue, disobey class rules, leave tasks unfinished, and were less patient than those who watched the nonviolent programs.
  • Studies have also shown that children who watch a lot of TV when they are young were more likely to be involved in crime as adults.

What can parents do?

  • Limit the amount of time spent watching television to 1-2 hours per day.
  • Watch at least one episode of the programs that your children watch.
  • Discuss possible alternatives to the violent behavior, or explain to them that the violent behavior is not the correct way to act.
  • Restrict viewing of offensive shows.
  • Don’t use the television as a babysitter.
  • Keep TV sets out of children’s bedrooms.
  • Find other things to do with your children, such as reading together, playing board games, bake cookies, fly a kite, etc.

Children will benefit greatly by their parents intervention in television viewing. It may be a little bit inconvenient for busy parents, but if you care about your children, the benefits will be worth it.

[1] George Gerbner, PhD, of the University of Phoenix

[2] Aletha Huston, PhD. University of Kansas

[3] Kostelnik, Whiren, Soderman, Stein, Gregory. Guiding Children’s Social Development: Theory to Practice, 4th ed. Delmar, 2002