Posted by: yemenia68 | April 18, 2009

Television’s influence on children


As a mother, I know for a fact that television has a major influence on children. Unfortunately, not everything they watch is appropriate for them.  Television has both a negative and positive influence on children. Considering that children spend more time watching television than any other daily activity, it is not a surprise that it will have an impact on their behavior. I find my children imitating what they watch on TV all the time, which is natural because that is how children learn to behave, by watching others. Parents need to realize that television should not be considered an alternative babysitter for their young ones. It is our job, as parents, to monitor what our children watch and provide them with an understandable explanation for what the media negligently provides on television.

We see drugs, sex, nudity, and vulgar language portrayed on practically every show or program on television. These issues are portrayed as a source of entertainment for adults. Children, on the other hand, should not be exposed to this kind of entertainment, especially at an age in which they don’t have the ability to make a distinction between reality and fantasy. Children seem to believe that whatever they see on television is a reflection of the ideal American family. Consequently, they start to imitate those less than perfect exhibits for the mere purpose of “fitting in” to this judgmental society. Children’s preference of clothing is another example of how television influences them. Young boys choose to wear clothes a couple sizes bigger than their own just to look like the “rappers” they see on television. The girls like wearing everything and anything that “Hannah Montana” or the “Cheetah Girls” are wearing. At school, if you wear anything outside of the latest fashion trends you are considered an outcast. So when I say that television has a major influence on our children, am I exaggerating? I don’t think so.

Due to the fact that there is a lot of negativity on TV, children should have restrictions to what they watch or at least be monitored while watching TV.  If or when an inappropriate issue comes up during a program, the parent should explain to the child that what they’re watching is not real and is only provided to entertain. Children are naturally curious about everything. They are constantly asking “what, why, where, who, and when?” which is a healthy and normal learning process for all children. To satisfy that curiosity, it is always important to talk to them about what they see on television because they lack the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy. They need to acknowledge that what is on television is merely entertainment.

Teaching our children what is or isn’t appropriate to watch is every parents responsibility. After all, it is just like teaching them basic moral standards. On a daily basis we teach our children that there is certain behavior or speech that is inappropriate and vice versa. That same principle should apply to television. By providing children answers and explanations to the negative messages that are being portrayed throughout TV programming, we help build a clearer perspective of television in their minds. I will not lie to you though, there‘s always going to be the inevitable question almost every child asks, “If it is not appropriate, then why do they show it on television?”, which is a question even parents want an answer to.

It is a known fact that children imitate the behavior of those around them. That is how they learn human behavior. Although most of the programs on television are inappropriate for kids, there are some educational programs, cartoons, comedies, and movies that portray respectful human ethics that are suitable for them. Some of the programs we watch as a family are “7th Heaven” and “Little mosque on the prairie,” which are suitable for families with religious beliefs. Programs like Sesame Street, Barney, Clifford, and Dragon Tales are some of my three year old son’s favorites. These kinds of programs are both educational and entertaining for kids. Children learn to count and say new words from watching these programs. It is because of these programs that we don’t totally disapprove of television.

(This is an essay I wrote for my English class. I thought it would be an interesting issue to post about. )


  1. Great post, but I don’t think that anyone will pay attention to this problem, the TV and mass media has become the most influential effect on the raising of our children

    • ok dude

  2. I think it is very disturbing how people have become “comfortable” with the negative media these days. It has become part of our everyday lives seeing this kind of negative behavior on television that we have become accustomed to it. Even vulgar language has become a norm nowadays. The stranger and more dysfunctional the behavior portrayed on television, the better ratings it will achieve. What does that say about us, the viewers?

  3. i agree with you in some points you have said

    1- provide them with an understandable explanation for what the media negligently provides on television.

    2- teaching our children what is or isn’t appropriate to watch is every parents responsibility.

    3- these shows you talked about

    in the psychiatric department there was a research about how violence in the media affects the children
    and they said that the kids become more aggressive and more violent
    by imitating what they see as you said

    they also said as you’ve done that parents should sit with children while they watch the program or movie and tell them what’s real and what’s fantasy
    what’s appropriate and what’s not

    also i think we should provide children with more activities other than TV and video games like joining a swimming class or other sports
    also provide them with these games that increase the intellectual functions of the brain
    provide them with white papers and colours and let them pain and draw

    we should not depend on tv to take our place in raising up the children

    salam alyky

    • Unfortunately, families hardly spend time together any more. The parents spend half their day at work and the children are in school, and by the time everyone gets home, everyone has their own separate activity. Weekends are spent resting or doing every other thing that wasn’t done on the weekdays.
      The saddest thing of all is that each family member has their own television in their individual rooms, where they watch separately.

      • ya

  4. from a person that grew up on TV (while we didn’t have unlimited supply of channels i had unlimited supply of videos that i picked myself).
    Until university … i learned everything about anything from TV, and for the most part i’m fine so i don’t believe that it has a very damaging effect on kids, although i appreciate the harm that it can create.
    As for the part about kids learning from TV i guess i was slow or something but for instance i saw my first intercourse scene when i was watching a movie with my sisters and i was 6 … i partly understood what was going on, i didn’t find it sexual and didn’t learn from it since it was disgusting…. and i watched the ultra violent hong kong b-movies, i did want to imitate them but i was limited by reality and my parents laughter.

    So in the end i atleast had someone to learn from, and occupy my time with.

  5. you are right but we discuss these stuff to change not just for discussion

    also they are our children ( to be)
    if we didn’t try to change for them , then who will do??

    well actually it’s the mother’s role before everyone else

    we’ve to tell the mothers about that

    i donno wat am goin to do if i became a mother
    but i think at least i’ll try to do the best of me

    i think i heard hundreds of times that nobody will love me more than my mother
    how that could be true if she let other woman teach me and spend time with me other than her
    also this woman have no morals
    this woman is (tv)


    the long road starts with a step

    salam alyky

  6. Bambam:
    Well, depending on how old you are, that might of been ok back then. I grew up the same way, and I turned out ok, but these days are quite different.
    There are too many intimate scenes on daytime tv and violence. Back in the day, these kind of scenes were very limited. These days they have the worst kind of messages portrayed through the cartoons.
    The worst in my opinion is the way the children disrespect their parents on television, they make it seem like its something cool to be disrespectful. It may be a comedy that we’re watching but that’s how it all starts, we get comfortable watching these actions portrayed and then start imitating them.
    I can see it happening in society, kids don’t have respect towards elders like they used to. They dont even act their age any more. They try so hard to grow up beyond their time.
    Trust me Bambam, you’ll understand this once you have kids.

  7. na3kasha:
    I agree with you, which is why I posted this.

  8. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  9. Thank you Bill and welcome to my blog : )

  10. Wow! nice!! i am doing a research paper on this topic and these arguments are just too good… Good job guys and good luck!!!

    • Thanx Aysha, good luck to you as well 🙂

  11. Thank you for the above article, Eman. I agree with you to give more attention to what our children watch on TV. My little note is, however, that is connected with cartoons and comedies. Many cartoons and comedies are actually not appropriate to children for their bad words and story plot. My point is that we still need to watch critically whatever appears on TV. Salam, Wisnu

    • I agree with you Wisnu. There are cartoons and comedies that actually have more vulgar language and nudity than other programs or movies.

      • I agree with you…but there are programs which teaches children good things too…a child should not be restricted watching Tv completely.

      • Yes there are, that’s why I added the programs that we watch as a family.

  12. […] Television’s influence on children April 2009 15 comments 3 […]

  13. Hey there, im doing a thesis on how children imitate by watching something on telly.
    i need to know your last name if its that i can include it in my reference list…
    thank you 🙂

    • The name is Eman Abdullah.
      Glad you liked the post 🙂

  14. Mom television is not harmful it’s just entertainment says the children to their parents. Some children may be a trouble to their parents, so the parents ask them to watch television so that they could finish their work without the trouble of their children. But that’s not good. What I have heard is TV is called the idiot box and that is true. It spoils the mind of the children. They watch Cartoons in the morning to night or have a TV dinner. In other way television is a boon. Children can learn about animals or gender knowledge or news. It would develop the children’s mind.

    Last year I had an essay competion in school, I didn’t know what to write, so I wrote this. I was nervous when the results came. When the teacher my paper she congratulated meebecause my essay was very nice. So I wanted to this to everyone so that they could also read it
    Hope you like my essay

    • Yes, I do like it 🙂

  15. i see this an intersting topic thank you
    i think that parents are most responsible for their childern we dont have to blame chaneles or gavernments evry father or mother should countrol their children

  16. This essay is so true one of my sisters’ is 11 and she acts like a teenager and with the poses she and the youngest does for pictures, i’m like, DO NOT DO THAT!

  17. TV and films influence children more than parents in this day and age of technology. Children spend more time watching TV than any other activity. TV is one of the many main…….. for details.

    • yes

  18. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3
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    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and
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    • Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

  19. […] Television’s influence on children […]

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