Internet And Your Child -Know The Pros And Cons!
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Dec 15, 2018
"Children are way too mature for their age, these days!” "Where’s the innocence gone?” – these are common phrases that you might hear adults use about children. We are witness to the increasing rates of verbal and physical abuse, and crime in a society where young ones are not just victims but culprits as well. Have you ever thought about why this dramatic shift is taking place?
Well, one of the key factors is over-exposure to media. While media in itself has emerged as a big boon for society, in terms of providing valuable information in pretty much every domain, there are two sides to the coin.
How Does Media Help Your Child?
There’s no denying the face that media does provide excellent sources of information and entertainment for children. Here are some up sides to media exposure.
Entertainment content: Let’s face it, cartoons and films are a lot different now from the limited lot we were exposed to as children. And cartoons are made with a lot of thought about what their viewers take away from them.
- Children are exposed to different places, cultures, and even languages through cartoons and films
- Children pick up things from an early age through entertainment media. Parents can take the help of media to help understand complex yet important concepts such as mixed families, and gender stereotyping
- Learning: With channels like Discovery and others children get a wonderful exposure to the virtual world of animal habitat, planets, different places of the world etc. This supports a lot of the theoretical knowledge that they acquire in schools. Popular cartoons like Sesame Street helps children learn about letters, numbers, shapes etc. in a fun, colorful and creative way
- Social Media connect: Social media allows children to stay connected with their friends across the globe and stay updated with educational trends and career possibilities
- Interact and learn: Interactive platforms like blogs, forums, quora and many more allow secondary and senior secondary students to participate in online discussions, connect with like-minded peers and obtain valuable information
What’s The Down-Side Of Media Exposure?
Since there is always a yin and a yang, let’s look at the down-side to media exposure for your child.
Inappropriate content: There is no dearth of obscene, vulgar, provocative content, that can disturb young minds.
- They are sexually explicit, violent and aggressive in nature
- A child doesn’t have the maturity to understand that the messages conveyed by these videos are quite perverted
- Learning by imitating: We learn through modelling and imitation. Children pick up a lot from repetitive content on media by using these two learning principles. So, when they view stuff that is way above their mental age and beyond their current level of understanding, they will simply replicate the behavior, attitude, style of speaking and other mannerisms without really understanding
- Reduced outdoor play: The stimulating content available on television, online videos and games is all taking away their precious time that they can contribute towards their fitness and social skills. Indian children today are not far behind in terms of obesity than those in America!
- Consumerism: One of the biggest drawbacks of the media is the creation of forced consumerism. The softest targets for the advertising industry are children (teens and tweens). Lot of ads convey the message that "consuming or owing a certain product is a must have” and the youth anyway are prone to giving in to peer pressure
What You Can Do As A Parent?
- Allow your children to critically analyze what they see.
- Play the role of mediator to differentiate between fact and fantasy
- If they are watching something that does not fit in with their mental age group, guide them and let them know that "it would be more suitable to watch this when they reach a certain age”
- Strictly deny them the independent use of the computer, television or iPad in their bedroom. If absolutely necessary, keep the passwords under your control or make them shared.
- Instead watching TV together, consider more active and creative ways of spending time together as a family
- You can explain the reason behind not choosing to watch particular content to an older child.
- Create meaningful conversations around forced consumerism.
- Make sure in your absence the same rules are adhered to by other alternate care givers like grandparents or nannies.
It is true that too much of anything can have a negative effect. The next time you intend to settle in for a movie session on Sunday, why not take a road trip instead? Or if you aren’t up to the effort, how about a game of "Finish My Story” – you’re bound to get more than a few laughs!
Did you find Sugandha’s blog on the good and bad sides of the media useful? How do you ensure your child is not exposed to inappropriate media content? Do leave your comments. We love hearing from you!
| Oct 04, 2017
thank u so much Sugandha Tiwari for sharing this useful blog. internet is a boon for children when used for collecting information and gaining knowledge while it's a bane when the information being accessed can affect their psyche.. and have a long term Impact on their thought process..
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