There’s an ancient proverb that states “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which everyone who passes by leaves an impression.”
Television programs that are targeted towards children, such as cartoons, can affect children in both positive and negative ways. Cartoons have been a part of cinema history from the time the first motion pictures were made in the late 1800s. Cartoons are an essential part of every childhood. They are, certainly, the most popular entertainment for children, but also much more than that. The cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matters that can influence children in many different ways. With the help of cartoons, kids can learn about the world around them, about new emotions, life issues and other important things. Children watch on television a lot any kind of cartoons like Tom and Jerry, SpongeBob and Mickey Mouse etc...
Children have a mind which is full of curiosity and are always inquisitive to learn something. They usually spend time at home, school and with their friends. They don’t see any unusual, interesting or funny stuff surrounding them. In-home they watch TV, which they always prefer cartoons.
A cartoon is a simple drawing of the things we see around us in an entertaining way with lots of lively colours in it or a cartoon is a film, movie or a small video with animation in it. These are one of the efficient tools that use colours to communicate something. In fact, coloured moving images first capture children’s attention before they understand any message, providing them with a world full of symbols that reflect complex concepts to explain to a young child.
Cartoons catch Attention
Cartoons are an Effective way to Teach Moral Education
Cartoons are an Inexpensive Tool for Teaching
What can children learn from cartoons?
Children watch cartoons all the time and kids enjoy them very much. When children watch cartoons very often, they may be influenced by them. However, cartoons can have both positive and negative effects on the cognitive development and behaviour of a child.
Cartoons help children know friendship is important:
Cartoons can also teach children that friendships are important. As characters always help each other when they have problems.
Cartoons encourage imagination:
When children watch different cartoons, they might imagine different themes and think about the imagined stories of different cartoons.
They can help children learn things related to the school:
We should let children watch educational cartoons because they help children learn faster because kids enjoy them more than reading.
Helps in Cognitive Development:
Watching cartoons can help to develop logic and reasoning ability, visual and auditory processing, and sustained and selective attention of a child.
Helps in the Language Development
Cartoons can expose children to different languages, thus helping children in developing their linguistic abilities. Allowing them to watch cartoons in your native tongue, which can help them learn the language better.
There are also some negative effects of such shows on children that parents should be aware of before letting their children watch them. Therefore, it might be useful to check out the “dark side” of this illustrated visual art, as some define cartoons.
Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see.
Experts from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) say that kids who watch cartoons full of violence tend to be nervous, aggressive and disobedient.
Too many hours of sitting in front of a screen watching cartoons can cause several health issues due to inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. These include obesity, vision problems, and nutritional deficiencies due to bad food habits.
Carry a much higher risk of childhood obesity.
Are more likely to display aggressive behaviour. Children naturally copy what they see.
Have less energy.
Have a harder time in school.
Behavioural Problems: Spending too much time in front of cartoons is one of the root causes of isolation and indifference in children.
An increase of negative behaviour might develop over the course of time like they become insensitive to others' pains and sorrow.
They sometimes promote the use of foul language.
How to deal
Set the Example
Set a rule that limits the time for watching TV or cartoons for 1 hour a day.
Allow your child to watch only age-appropriate or educational cartoons that do not depict or encourage negative behaviour.
Teach your child about what is harmful, what is acceptable and what is not realistic.
Observe your child’s behavioural changes.
Encourage your child to watch programs with language aids that help them learn letters of the alphabet, words, and rhymes.
Eat together at the dining table as a family and avoid watching TV during mealtimes. This will help the kids focus on the meal and encourage them to eat nutritious food and stop when they are full.
Cartoons can have both positive and negative effects on children depending on what kind of cartoon they watch. By limiting children’s screen time and encouraging them to go outside and play, you can ensure that your children are healthier and happier.
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Television is the menace that everyone loves to hate but can’t seem to live without —Paddy Chayevsky.
Psychologist at MANAS
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note: *all these pictures are taken from google free sources*