After an exhausting day at office, a long day of housework or a day out and about, most of us retire in front of TV to unwind. With kids around, our choices are limited – News, a TV soap or a movie. Have we paused a moment to reflect how these programs influence young viewers? What about the advertisements? What about glimpses of the scenes we catch while flipping channels!!! It’s Murphy’s Law, whenever there is a disturbing or inappropriate content on the screen, the TV remote stops working.
Every family program comes with its share of violence like kicking/slapping and foul mouthing. Car crash, weapons, blood and murder are common scenes of any Hollywood/Bollywood movies. Current hot violence of vampires, sci-fi series, Harry potter, Spider Man and other super hero series are favorites among kids. How do we answer the why-questions these scenes garner?
Cartoon shows are no exception in providing misguided information. Antigravity, anti-logical and in general anti-human concepts are in abundance in cartoon programs. Tom or Jerry doesn’t get hurt no matter from where they jump or what they do to kill each other!! Every cartoon character has a girlfriend/boyfriend. Every girl dreams of being a Barbie doll once she grows up. A fat person is usually a comic character who is the butt of all jokes.
I personally prefer those series that expand child’s knowledge, all while having fun. Dora teaches Spanish; Barney teaches valuable life lessons like saying thank-you and sorry; Thomas train series throws in a bit of moral into the stories.
Laptop games open up a whole new world of fun for kids. The more interactive a game, the better it is for kids. This also puts the parent in control of deciding what is best for their kids. There are hundreds of apps for today’s apples and androids – puzzles, language learning apps, ABCD apps, rhymes, story telling, phonics and other such fun activity games.
Time spent in front of TV is time lost doing something creative. There must be a good balance of TV/computer games and physical activity. At the end of the day, nothing beats a good hour of playground fun – sun, sand, friends and laughter.
Divya Rao is a mother to a 3.5yr old bundle of joy. She has one eye set on growing her career and the other watching and enjoying her little one grow up.