violence is a negative message of reality to the children who see it. There
is an excessive amount of violence being watched in millions of people’s homes
every day, and this contributes to the growing amount of violent crimes that
are being committed in our communities. This cycle of more and more sex and
violence being portrayed as reality on television will not stop until something
Not one parent that I know wants his or her children watching people
getting blown away and thrown off cliffs. But the reality of it is that parents
cannot be there 24 hours a day to monitor what their children are watching.
In fact the television is often used as a baby-sitter, so that the parent can
do housework, have an adult conversation, or just relax after work.
of people who are the most likely to be harmed by the surplus of violence on
TV are children. Ed Donnerstein stated in the February 15, 1996 edition of
the Boston Globe the following:
Violence turns out to do a lot of harm when
it looks harmless. One of these lessons children learn watching television
is that there are few consequences to the person who commits violence – or
to the victim. Add to this ‘positive’ portrayal of negative behavior the fact
that children’s programs were least likely to show the bad effects of violence
and most likely to make it funny" (Goodman pg. 23).
We are showing children
that violence is humorous and it can’t do harm.
A researcher by the name
of Meltzoff studied learning in infants. He concluded that babies start to
learn even before birth. A study by Meltzoff demonstrated observational learning
in 14-month-olds. After watching an adult on television handling "a novel toy
in a particular way," the babies were able to imitate the behavior when presented
with the toy 24 hours later (Wood pg.292). This study indicates that babies
learn imitation very early in life. This is why parents should be more particular
with what they allow their susceptible children to view on TV.
Morphin Power Rangers, television show for children, is a very good example
of how violence on TV can affect our children. It is one of the highest rated
kids television shows today. The Power Rangers are everywhere, on everything,
from lunch boxes to boxer shorts. And kids want it all. This creates a bind
for the parents who know that these items are not so good for their kids.
Power Rangers is one of the most violent shows around right now and kids love
it. The violence in the show has led New Zealand and two of the major networks
in Canada to ban the program from their daily schedules. Nancy Carlson-Paige
of Lesley College said in the December 1, 1994 Boston Globe," Locally, teachers
see evidence that Power Rangers interferes with normal childhood development.
It threatens to undermine children’s mental health because of the way it influences
their play" (Meltz pg. A1).