Television And The American Culture Essay

1117 words - 4 pages

Are Children Becoming What They Watch?As parents, no matter how hard we try to shelter our children from the unprecedented amount of violence portrayed on television, success is nearly impossible. If they don't see at home, they will see it at school, at a friend's house, in a magazine, or in their textbooks. The sad reality is that violence is part of the American Culture. Violence is how America became free; violence is how we bring freedom to other countries, even God's word states in Matthew 11:12, "…from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it by force" (NAS). While these acts of violence serve a much more meaningful purpose than many of those depicted on our television screens, the images, whether printed and tangible or just imaginable, still play a role in the lives of our children.Despite the fact that Karen Springen's decision to ban their children from television may have been extreme, she and her husband had the right idea. It is important that healthy and attainable boundaries are put in place for children. These boundaries should include the type of programming allowed and the amount of time allotted for "screen time." Springen mentions that "Nielson Media Research reports that American children 2 through 11 watch three hours and 16 minutes of television every day" (292). Research further indicates that children who, on a weekly basis, watch more than 10 hours of television have greater odds of becoming overweight, aggressive, and to learn more slowly in school (292). Each of these factors needs to be considered when setting boundaries for children, and neither side of the pendulum is a healthy boundary for them.Parents who are extreme in their decision to ban children from screen time may very well create resentful out-of-place children, who will eventually watch television, regardless of their parent's wishes. These same children will probably have the tendency to be fanatical as adults as well, only they may swing to the opposite extreme. However, parents who set healthy boundaries, which has become increasingly easy to do with Parental Controls, tend to create children who also learn to set healthy boundaries.For these extremists, there are many questions that begin to rise. Beginning with, how much time do the adults in the home spend in front of the television? If the answer is any at all, what kind of example is that for the children involved? Secondly, what is being done to take the place of the television, or "screen"? As parents, how much time is spent reading the child books, or doing crafts, or playing games, or are the children left to fend for themselves? If they must fill the void themselves, with no parental interaction, then resentment may begin to develop.The reasonable, boundary setting parent must also be asked, how much is too much?Much research should be done to make a well informed decision for all parties involved. However, any...

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