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Television watching has negative effects to both physical and psychological development of young children. The harm involved is more severe if the children are six years old or less. Moral guardians and researchers believe that although TV is very important because it serves as an informative and social tool to modern societies, there are a lot of things on television that kids are not supposed to be exposed to. This include programs that involve violence, bad language, death of loved ones, sexuality, evil defeating good and horror movies among others. According to researchers, it is difficult for parents to regulate how and what their children should watch on television. Therefore young children should not be exposed to television watching until when they are mature enough to differentiate reality from what is shown on TV.
It should be noted that kids of six years and below are innocent and they have little exposure to their social environments. Exposing young children to watching television programs may have negative effects to their psychological and physical development. It is at this age when children begin to interact with their immediate environments that influence their behaviour. Exposure of too to television programs that portray violence has three major negative effects to their psychological development. According to recent psychological research, children who watch violence on television at an early age may be less sensitive to pain and suffering of others in the society. This is a dangerous trait in children's development since they grow convinced that violence is part of life and with no concern of whether their actions are causing any pain to others on or not.
Young children exposed to violence on television acquire aggressive behaviour that is normally witnessed as they mingle with others. Children develop urge to imitate what characters do on television especially where fights are involved. Research has shown that children who have access to television at young age are always violent to their peers and even after becoming adults. Most of the human behavior traits are acquired when a person is less than eight years and they are the ones that determine how these individuals will behave afterwards. Another effect of violence seen on television to kids is excessive fear. In most cases children who spend their early age staring on violent programs on televisions are more fearful of the world around them. They grow with a perception that life is full of dangers and unable to differentiate what happens on television with real life happenings. This is kind of behaviour affects their social lives since they like spending their free time alone or with close relatives.
Allowing young children to watch television programs could make them involve in unethical practices such as prostitution, drug abuse and other social evils. Imitation is a high element especially among the young children. Children of less than eight years are known to imitate what other people are doing. Due to little exposure to day to day happenings, children learn new things by aping what is happening around them. When these activities are repeated, they become part of their lives hence determining their behaviour. Some television programs feature characters who are involved in unethical activities such as smoking and taking of alcohol. These characters mostly emerge victorious in their activities portraying a biased picture of the substance consumed. For instance, a character in a movie may perform excellent in sports or fighting after smoking a certain type of cigar. Kids are not able to differentiate reality and fiction and they find themselves practicing what they see from television programs. Researchers have found that these children eventually engage themselves in unethical practices without their knowledge. This is normally because the behaviour was planted into their minds while small children and cannot be erased.
People generally learn basic communication skills at their young age. Children normally acquire knowledge from their surroundings whereby they learn how to communicate with other members of the society. Young children are not in a position to determine what is acceptable in the society and what is not. They therefore learn bad language from television programs whereby they ape how certain characters speak. This language is incorporated into their behavior and changing them is not a simple task. Researchers argue that young children who spend their early age watching television have difficulties in learning their first language. They have ease to utter some words that they hear from television without much awareness of their meanings. This is a bad behavior that could have negative effects to children's future learning and communication with the rest of the society in their future lives.
Television watching does not only affect psychological development of young children but also their physical growth. Children of six years and below need enough exercise and rest for proper growth. Exercise is very important to young children because it helps them have healthy and strongg skeletal structure formation. This prevents them from healthy disorders such as obesity that is normally caused by excessive consumption of fatty foods and lack of enough exercises. Children who are exposed to television watching at their early age do not have ample time for doing physical exercises. They spend most of their free time gazing on television without knowing the kind of danger they are putting the body health into. This behaviour can be extended to their adulthood and these children become lazy teenagers and adults with less motivation to participate in activities involving physical effort.
Television watching also hinders young children from having enough rest that is very crucial for their physical and psychological development. They spend most of their free time watching television other than resting. Some even watch television up to late night which is normally strenuous to their young and developing bodies and mind. This is not only harmful to their physical growth but also to their behaviour. Young children become easily addicted to television watching and they normally have no time for learning other important things within their environments. This makes them grow to poor learners and research has shown that children who spend their early watching television normally perform poorly in school. These children have difficulties in learning and remembering things learn in school since their minds are filled with thrilling stories about certain television programs and prominent characters.
It is obvious that television plays a great role in modern society families as an informative tool and a social tool. However, television watching has some negative impacts to both physical and mental development of young children that should not be ignored. It contributes greatly to unethical behaviour among the young children who blindly ape what they see non television without differentiating fiction and reality (Messenger 6-8). Television watching consumes most the children's free time hindering them from enough rest and exercise. Parents should monitor what is watched by their children because some programs may have negative impacts to their behavior. Too much television watching is not good too since children should also participate in other important activities. However, young children of six years old and below are too young to be watching television on their own. They are supposed to be kept away from television watching until when there are slightly older enough, above six years old, to differentiate fiction on televisions and real.