Looking at the amount of Chota Bheem and Dora merchandise flooding the market, and birthday parties being organised along these themes, the popularity of these characters is quite evident. As a parent, it might seem a safe and easy way to keep your child entertained, by plonking him in front of the television while you finish your chores, but beware; it has its ills in the long run. Read on to learn more:
1. Subconscious promotion of violence
Majority of cartoons promote violence and negativity in some way or the other. The bad guy gets hurt and the winner takes it all. Continuous exposure to violence, might lead children to believe that it is alright to hurt somebody, and also push them to become insensitive to the feelings of others. They might even start to believe that it’s funny. Even seemingly harmless cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry are forever looking for different tools to hurt each other, be it pans, base ball bats or even dynamites!!! Now is that content you want your children to be exposed to?
2. Couch potatoes
With the advent of satellite television came numerous channels that broadcast cartoons all day. The previous generations of children spent majority of their time outdoors or reading. These days however, gadgets tend to have taken over kids lives in a big way. Children who spend excess time in front of the television tend to be obese. Parents can encourage children to venture outdoors by engaging in some activity with them, like teaching them to ride a bike and later cycling together or signing up for a sports class after school. Check out Kleverkid for options close to your home.
3. Confusion with the real world
Children have impressionable minds, and they tend to mimic whatever they see. When they watch superheroes with magical powers, they are led to believe that they can acquire the same skills themselves. The case where a little boy jumped to his death from the top of the building, believing he was Shaktiman, stands testimony to this. Parents need to make their children understand that cartoon characters are inanimate and hence are never affected but that they could end up seriously injured if they try similar stunts.
4. Does not stimulate the brain
Too much of screen time is said to kill brain cells and hamper the cognitive functions of the brain. At a young age, the stimulus that a child is exposed to makes a huge impact on their development. Television reverses any development that is likely to happen. While young children might seem to enjoy the bright colours and motions on the screen, they are unable to make sense out of the same. Excessive television is also known to lower IQ, affect sleep and have a negative impact on the attention span of the child.
Bottom line, Television can be an educational tool if used appropriately. As parents we need to monitor the content we expose our children to, especially upto the age of six, when their minds are most impressionable. Small steps taken today can help to encourage them to lead a life with healthy habits tomorrow. Your child will thank you for it someday.