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Television Cartoons and Child Development

Television Cartoons and Child Development

“From the time children learn to talk, they are mesmerized by the sounds and moving images of sesame street” (Baron and Davis, 2009, p. 87). Meyrowitz cited in Buonanno (2008, p.19) says television “escort children across the globe before they have permission to cross the street”. This underscores the role that television plays in the life of a child. Cartoons have been the favorite viewing choice of kinds. Cartoons are very entertaining and children do not like to be bored, so that is a good match. Cartoon also provide opportunity for children to learn so many things and it fact expand children. Imagination besides, many cartoon contents are fantastic, and this makes children get carried away by what they see though far from reality. Unfortunately, many of cartoon contents are filled with violence and bed language and therefore have negative impact on a child’s developing mind; a child’s is like a sponge absorbs everything they see and hear. (Garden, 2008) notes that if they are constantly exposed to cartoons will violence and fighting, it will affect them morally and may lead to teenage violence in the future. In their book “psychology Bourne and Ekstrand, (1982, p. 35) had this to say about television and child development;.

One of the most surprising things about television is that until recently nobody cared about its effect on human development. Although television stations are licensed by the federal government, there has been little supervisor of programmes content considering that 25% of all television are aimed at children that 96% all U.S homes contain at least one set, and one quarter of a child’s working hours up to the age of 18 is spent watching television, it is no surprise that the medium is finally been see as the pervasive socializing agent it really is”.

 

Meyrownitz (1985, p.24) observes that “television thrusts children into a complex adult world, and it provides the impetus for children to ask the meaning of actions and words they would not yet have heard or read about without television”. This is one of the reasons why adults often wondered how expanded the understanding of modern children have become. The influence that these television programmes, especially, cartoons have on children can be either negative in positive. Positively, television cartoon is something that families can watch together and laugh at; it provides a medium of family bonding because some cartoons such as Tom and Jerry are ageless and humorous to any age group. Also, investigations by American pediatrics association have led to the recognition that entertainment television has become a major teaching agent and therefore plays a widely unrecognized but potent influence on the development of children (Muss, 1999).

 

Negatively, it is argued that children who watch television are less likely to participate in more rewarding activities such as sports or reading. In fact, a sickness such as obesity has been associated with addition to television viewing. Also, television cartoons have been seen to create stereotypes with their selective presentation of characters and stories, thus giving the view (i.e. children) a false image of the world (Bourne and Ekstrand, 1982). In a study conducted by the Kaiser family foundation in (2003), it was found that nearly half (47%) of parents with children between the ages of 4 and 6 report that their children have imitated aggressive behaviour from television (Rideont, Vandewater and Wartella, 2003, p. 8).

Also, children remember more of actions when they see it on television than when they hear it on radio because visual images help memory; but their thinking become more, imaginative when they listen to radio. Psychologists fear that children who are raised on television “may have more information but be less imaginative and be less verbally precise and less mentally active than earlier generation raised with radio” (Wede and Travis, 1993, p. 65).

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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