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Positive and Negative Effects of Television on Children

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2364 words Published: 15th Jun 2018

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Children’s television viewing time be carefully controlled or for some age groups eliminated entirely

Contents (Jump to)


TV, young children and aggression:

Is TV dumping down our young?

The role of TV in the obesity epidemic:

Is TV – helping the young to a more positive view of the world?

TV linked to better language and literacy?




Since the advent of the television in the daily lives of the common people, the lifestyle and routine of the people have been changed. Television is no longer an idiot box in the lives of many instead it is one of the most important parts of the lifestyle. The television has come up with variety of programs and the increasing importance of the television in the daily life of the people has given the entertainment world a different name. It has been observed in many countries like the United States the children are devoting maximum of about thirty hours watching television per week. This has given rise to a hobby or a habit of watching television (Kelemen, 2002).

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In many countries the children like to watch television, forgoing their studies and this had created awareness within the parents and the teachers. The most important issue regarding this matter is that the children are getting wrong information in some particular cases from the different programs of the television. There are many interesting programs apart from the cartoon shows which attract the children. The study is all about the awareness that had been generated by different research outcomes conducted by different organizations. The study discusses many important issues and analyses both the positive and negative sides of the issues (Yapp, 2014).

TV, young children and aggression:

It is observed all over the world that the children are adversely affected by the violent programs which they view in the television. Eastman (2004) had said that by the time when the American children become grown up to leave the high school they would have viewed thousands of murders and other violent activities in the television. On the other hand Rowell Huesmann et al (2003) have said that there is a tendency in the infants to imitate the activities they observe from the television and hence the violent programs could have much impact on the minds of the children and could cause severe accidents in their lives (Huesmann & Moise-Titus, 2003).

Murray (2005) have pointed out that in many cases it has been observed that children having maximum exposure to violent programs get their sensitivity towards violence and this turn increases their tolerance of violence in the society. On the other some children are found to be getting more sensitive towards the violence and that might affect their physical and mental strength. It is not always good for the infants to watch television as they might be affected by the colors, hues, saturation and exposure level of the television portray. The sound effects might also affect the hearing aspect or the mental development of the infants as initial stages (Murray, 2012).

Is TV dumping down our young?

According to Anderson and Pempeck there is a close relationship between the development of language and watching TV. The children below 2 years who watch television for a long time do not develop their language and vocabulary. The children start to speak less and they follow only gestures. The children below 2 years who watch educational programs like Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer face the similar problems in the language development. But the children over 2 years while watching these programs specially designed for the development of language get a better learning opportunity and they develop the language faster (Gliebe, 2011).

The parents’ co-viewing with their kids has shown to be beneficial as the parents could manipulate the programs accordingly and might help their children in understanding the meaning of the programs they watch. The children are sometimes found to be more inclined towards the face to face communication and learn to develop language from this type of conversation. The parents could control the time their children are devoting towards watching the television. They could even ban or eliminate many programs from being watched by their children if they find some anti social or unethical in the programs.

The role of TV in the obesity epidemic:

The children who are watching television for a longer period are found to be affected by the increasing issue of obesity as they forgo their physical activities and sit idle at a place and watch television. The children get less time for any extra curriculum activities and due to that they are growing some problems in their physical growth.

The habit of having fast food or snacks are being promoted by the television ads which are growing the habit of consuming fast food and snacks at an increasing rate which is affecting the health of the children to great extent. The children are getting much inclined towards the fast food and the ready to cook foods as they are being advertised very skillfully to attract the children (Boulos, Vikre, Oppenheimer, Chang, & Kanarek, 2012).

On the other hand television programs are also promoting some beneficial programs which are helping in the development of many good habits and learning. The television is also promoting various programs from where the children could learn about the culture of their countries or about different animals etc. There are some programs which are promoting the habits of practicing regular exercise in the daily regime of the children and the children are trying to follow them.

Is TV helping the young to a more positive view of the world?

According to Moeller (1996) the television programs are helping to understand the world around us through different specific channels. The television can have positive impacts on the minds of the children depending on the perception that the people are growing within them. Sometimes it is seen that people both children and adults like to believe that whatever is shown in the television is normal and real without judging the truth. This might have positive or negative effects depending on the individual conception development (Moeller, 1996).

Some programs might show the children the way they want to prove the world around us and could have negative impact on the minds of the children. On the other hand there are certain programs which are useful to the children to collect many academic information or data which they could skillfully use in their studies and could increase their general knowledge (Wiseman, 2012).

There are certain worrying issues where the children get wrong ideas about the cultures or the society of many places from the television. The children with good intelligence would take the positive views but the children with poor intelligence would not be able to get the positive views without the guidance of their parents or teachers.

TV linked to better language and literacy?

Many research work have proved that watching television is helping in the development of language and literacy in the children. The children of two years get to develop their language competency from watching television. Many children have been found to have grown better vocabulary by watching television. The children get to learn many things from television. There are many well designed education oriented programs like Sesame Street which provides good communication and language skills to be developed in the children (Close, 2004).

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Not all the learning programs are designed to develop language skills in the children. It is the responsibility of the guardians to supervise the programs and allow the children accordingly to watch the programs which are suited for their children. The adult co-viewers are responsible to grow and develop the language competencies within the children through their active participation. The conversation between the adult co-viewer and the children below two years is vital in developing the language within them. The parents or guardians have to play an active role in the development of language and literacy through watching television (Linebarger, 2006).


The above discussion shows for and against the reduction of the television viewing by the children below two years and also for the children who are sensitive to many issues. The parents or the guardians have to be more conscious about the controlling of the time dedicated to the television viewing by the children. The Government should take steps either to ban some violent or anti social programs or to make the schedule of the programs as per the prime time or the general time for watching television.

The study shows the positive and negative impacts of the television on the minds and developments of the children below and over two years. The study describes the various issue which are related with the viewing of the television. Watching TV is also hampering the physical development of the children and even increasing the rate of obesity in the children. The study throws lights on various findings from the research conducted by many researchers.

The research should be able to analyze both the positive and negative impacts of watching television. More research is needed to provide more data and information regarding how much positive or negative it is to watch television for the children. The society should try to instigate the positive impacts of watching television rather than the negative impacts. The society should be well aware of the adverse effects which could affect the children from initial stage.


Boulos, R., Vikre, E. K., Oppenheimer, S., Chang, H., & Kanarek, R. B. (2012). ObesiTV: How television is influencing the obesity epidemic. Physiology & Behavior, 146-153. Retrieved from friedmanfellows: http://friedmanfellows.com/assets/pdfs/elibrary/ObesiTV_final.pdf

Close, R. (2004, March 13). Television and Language Development in the Early Years. Retrieved from literacytrust: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/0429/TV_early_years_2004.pdf

Gliebe, S. K. (2011, August 12). The Effects of Video and Television on Young Children: Research and Reflection for Christian Educators . Retrieved from cuchicago: http://lej.cuchicago.edu/early-childhood-education/the-effects-of-video-and-television-on-young-children-research-and-reflection-for-christian-educators/

Huesmann, R., & Moise-Titus, J. (2003). Longitudinal Relations Between Children’s Exposure to TV Violence and Their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood: 1977–1992. Retrieved from umich: http://rcgd.isr.umich.edu/aggr/articles/Huesmann/2003.Huesmann,et al.Longrelations.Developmental Psych.pdf

Kelemen, L. (2002, December 18). The Truth about Television. Retrieved from aish: http://www.aish.com/ci/s/48924702.html

Linebarger, D. L. (2006, September 28). Elements of Effective Educational TV. Retrieved from pbskids: http://www-tc.pbskids.org/read/files/BOB-PARTI-ElementsofSuccessfulEdTV.PDF

Moeller, B. (1996, October). Learning from Television: A Research Review. Retrieved from dcmp: https://www.dcmp.org/public_content/caai/nadh175.pdf

Murray, J. (2012, January 09). Children's Antisocial Behavior, Mental Health, Drug Use, and Educational Performance After Parental Incarceration. Retrieved from NCBI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3283435/

Wiseman, R. (2012, June 30). Self help: forget positive thinking, try positive action . Retrieved from theguardian: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jun/30/self-help-positive-thinking

Yapp, R. (2014, January 10). Children who watch too much TV may have 'damaged brain structures'. Retrieved from dailymail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2537240/Children-watch-TV-damaged-brain-structures.html


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