Parenting Child Psychology and Behaviour

Do cartoons have negative effect on toddlers?

Cheena M Gujral
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Do cartoons have negative effect on toddlers

The furious Tom chasing the cute Jerry, that was the most happening tv memory of my childhood. Me and my sister used to go giggles. It was indeed comically fun. I simply cannot forget Mr. Bean series of foolish expressions that gave many a laughter bash. These comic entertainments were not only for children but elders enjoyed them too.

That era of easy going cartoons was later created using advanced technology and foreign expertise. Gradually they started becoming popular amongst young children. Pokémon and Shin Chan, which are from Japan, gave Indian child a whole new perspective of cartoons. Researchers say, cartoon characters have become integral part of daily life of a child. It is no more a source of feast, it's a routine now.

Are There Any Positive Effects Of Cartoons On Your Child?

Cartoons could be categorised into source of knowledge if you make it a healthy viewership. They do help in learning and gaining information. Few benefits of cartoons are-

  1. Develops early learning skills: Pictures and colors in cartoons, make toddlers learn early than formal education
  2. Develops cognitive skills: It helps them develop overall cognitive skills
  3. Exposure to regional languages: They get exposure to different languages via regional characters
  4. Stress busters: They are stress busters and help child take things lightly
  5. Better understanding of mythology and Indian history: Cartoons help understanding mythology and Indian history
  6. Develops understanding of Forest and wildlife: Few jungle series help your child get familiar to forest and wildlife
  7. Enhances creative skills in children: It enhances creativity and imagination in child

Cartoons are not just a leisure activity but a source of keeping your child also engrossed while you parents finish your daily tasks. However, when you are subjecting your child’s delicate and still developing mind to cartoons, isn’t it wise and necessary to ensure that the content viewed by your toddler is at least filtered in terms of the language spoken by the characters, along with the storyline so that his or her mind is not picking up any unwarranted content that is inappropriate his or her age even though it is in a cartoon form.


Parentune Tip: Remember children are absorbing everything they see and hear. Yes, those “cute cartoon characters” can become monsters.

negative effects of cartoons

What Are The Negative Effects Of Cartoons On Your Child?

While I have discussed few positive effects of cartoons on your child and his or her mind, I would also like to share few negative effects as there are always two sides of a coin. So here are the adverse effects of cartoons on your child.

  1. Violence: Children who watch violent cartoon films showcase aggressive behaviour. The animated action series like Pokémon, Scooby doo, power rangers show action drama, which encourage child to perform the same. Gun shots, explosions, smoking drinking and other scenes can be damaging to your child’s psychology
  2. Misleading role models: Young minds are quite impressionable and the cartoons shown these are international cartoon series that have characters with gadgets or are robots. Children start idolizing these characters and wish for a super gadget hero for themselves as well. They start believing doing things via gadgets and in turn become lazy
  3. Disobedience and insensitivity: is another side effect of the streaming cartoons. I have seen Shin chan as the most rude and undisciplined child. He is always up with disobedience for parents and that is being mimicked by many toddlers forget about teen disobedience
  4. Bad language: is easily acceptable for children attending to cartoons. Oggy and the cockroaches are dubbed with voices of Bollywood villains. I Am surprised by the language used and the tactics used to harass each other in the series and I wonder are they even targeting the right audience? Not that anyone in their right mind would want to watch a tussle between a cat and few cockroaches
  5. Anti social behaviour: is another concern with cartoons. A cartoon series where Krishna is modern day Krish and the Kans is head master jolts me deep. How illogically they manipulated the mythology and played with school ethics, where students are in rift with their teachers and teachers are plotting against students
  6. Health hazards: Health evils like obesity, weak eye sights and bad eating habits are major health issues with television fun. Many parents find it convenient to feed child in front of tv which is another root cause of unhealthy eating patterns
  7. Laziness and sedentary lifestyle: It inculcates low activity or idleness amongst children. Sitting lazy in front of TV sets seems more fun than going out and play
  8. No peace of mind: Watching cartoons hampers the physical growth of your child and also disturbs the peace of mind

Now we know how important it is to control the cartoon viewing amongst children, especially of age groups 2- 10 years, as these are the building years for both mind and personality.

Thus if we modulate the way of being entertained, it shall help both parents and child for a healthy living.

What Parents Can Do To Check The Negativity Of Cartoons?

  1. Explain the acceptable and harmful content to your child: Parents shall explain all characters to child in detail. What is acceptable and what is harmful for them.
  2. Set designated time for TV: Control the television viewing. Set time limits for the same.
  3. Explore different and educative channels: Explore more informative channels like discovery, animal planet or likewise for overall development.
  4. Bond more as a family: There shall be more of family play time rather than media exposures for child
  5. Use parental control application: Filter the content which seems harmful for your child. Use parental control applications
  6. Use audio CDs for rhymes and storytelling: Avoid screening phones to toddlers for online rhymes and videos to learn. The early exposure set the strong liking for future. There are audio rhyme CDs which are a good substitute
  7. Encourage cartoons that impart knowledge: Encourage cartoon channels that impart knowledge without building any character and still they have loads more for child to relate and imbibe
  8. Cartoons with talking animal characters are fun: Dancing hippo, talking butterfly, post train looking for animals to hand over gifts from friends, monkey and his grandma giving information about birds, grand pa john and his magical playground and that little Henry wanders in huger for different veggies. Is not it so exciting and simple for a toddler to learn. They talk only about good things, which are good for a developing and evolving brain and mind of your toddler
  9. Positive language aids for quick learning: It helps toddlers to learn alphabets, words and rhyme simultaneously with a wise language

Parentune Tip: Cartoons are fun and entertainment, only if they are trimmed to few hours of watching .

With this blog on cartoons and their effect on young impressionable minds, you as parents will be able to make informed decisions regarding cartoons. Please do ahare your views and feedback with us in the comments section below. 

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| Nov 01, 2017

I agree with everything mentioned above. It is very important to make sure our kids watch good cartoons and not those which can badly influence their behavior. I am a mother and for me, it is very important to know that my child doesn't watch cartoons that do not match his age and that he watches them not longer than I want him to watch it. Recently I was advised to use Kidslox Parental control app in order to limit the time my kid spends for watching cartoons on devices as modern kids usually like to watch cartoons on tablets and phones and not on TV. It worked just great for our family as it also blocks inappropriate content and you can set limitations as well as block apps you do not want to be used by your kid, so now I am sure that he will not watch even harmless cartoons for a too long time.

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Riddhi Kuldip Joshi

| Sep 17, 2017

very nice blog with right and effective content. superb

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Cheena M Gujral

| Sep 16, 2017

Yes Jagu , they do have negative mind. I can say a lot of cartoons have. But you can wisely choose on good shows that treat your child as kid only. They are not into violence, bad language and unrealistic things.

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Cheena M Gujral

| Sep 16, 2017

True Suman M Roy ... choosing right is very important. Everything comes with pros and cons, we need to draw the balance. We can keep children away from tv, we can only filter the content.

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Jagu Joshi

| Sep 16, 2017

Do cartoon have negative mind for teenagers or toddlers

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| Sep 16, 2017

thats so true suman. thanks for sharing.

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Suman M Roy

| Sep 16, 2017

I would like to mention few cartoon shows here... These cartoons just don't keep my son busy but he is everyday coming out with new vocabulary n even able to use them in the right place... Mickeymouse, little Einstein, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol... Yesterday he was talking about family to me... He is just 2y3mnths... Choosing the right content is very important

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Cheena M Gujral

| Sep 14, 2017

thanks puloma pandey . Hope you agree with rest of points too. Have seen my 2 yr old got addicted to them just in a couple of days. Thankfully i switched to better cartoons and now he is learning and enjoying his favorite animals, rhymes and awareness.

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puloma pandey

| Sep 14, 2017

I agree with this point of yours: Develops early learning skills: Pictures and colors in cartoons, make toddlers learn early than formal education

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