Have you ever met any children who do not like cartoons? Or have you ever seen any children who refuse to watch cartoon? This situations are mostly impossible under normal circumstances. It’s obvious that today’s children are, mostly unconsciously, exposed to television which is one of the most fashionable inventions of the 20th century. In this composition, I will mention the basic reasons for children’s watching cartoons so much and the effects of these cartoons on them.
First of all, the basic reason for children’s watching cartoons is that cartoons respond to the children’s need and tendency to activeness. Mostly the children under the age of seven are so much interested in cartoons. They firstly watch cartoons and then imitate them, which is a crucial point to think on. For instance, there are of course some of us who have witnessed or heard about one or two children who cry in the street like these ‘I am the king of the forests, Tarzan.’, ‘By the power of the grayskull, I’ve power.’, or ‘ Atomic ant is cominggg:).’ All of these slogans are results of the cartoons they watch in tv. The children are prone to take cartoons as their models and to reflect the characters in their daily games.
Secondly, we cannot disregard the notion that the children under the age of seven, still think that whatever happens in cartoons are all real and they can do everything that the characters in cartoons do. For example, if we think about a five or six years old children, it’s probable that they can jump from the roofs to fly, climb on the walls like spiderman, talk to their toys or to feed them as if they are alive. This actually nonexistent reality in cartoons is what lead the children to all these dangerous deeds.
Thirdly, it’s crucial to signify that everything that children learn till they are nine or ten, will be base for their later lives. In this aspect, parents have to be careful about their children’s cartoons. They must not think that ‘cartoons are tv programmes that are prepared for children, so they can watch which cartoons they want.’ On the contrary, parents should choose the most beneficial cartoons that will not only entertain the children but also give appropriate messages to them. Otherwise, it’s most probable that some fantastic cartoons can give permanents harms to the mental health of the children. However, there are at the same time beneficial cartoons such as Heidi, Pollyanna, Pinocchio, Alice in Wanderland etc. All these cartoons are adaptations from children’s classics which aim to develop children mentally.
We have indicated that children tend to imitate whatever they see in cartoons. The reason for their imitation is that children are unable to see or realise the difference between fact and fantasy, right and wrong. As all of us can guess, this is a very risky situation not only for mental development of the children but also for their perceptions in all aspects. For instance, these imitator children most probably have difficulty in comprehending the subjects at school. As s/he is accustomed to believing in everything in fantastic cartoons, he is now a dreamer and unable to gain the discipline for studying.
To conclude, it’s extremely significant that parents should follow what kind of cartoons their children watch. They must be careful about choosing cartoons for their children. It’s a compulsory duty of parents to choose cartoons that are prepared by pedagogists and real cartoon producers, which is, I think, the safest way to protect the children from the possible harms of the cartoons.
Violence in cartoon
Today, the life is full of concerns, and everyone is busy all the time. Especially, the parents who have to access everything their children need. However, the parents in order to accomplish their things they make their children watch television as a method of entertainment.
These cartoons are full of violence, all types of violence: slapstick violence such as in Tom and Jerry and Road Runner, superhero or action-adventure as in Batman and Incredibles. Actually, if children are exposed to this exaggerated violence at an early age they can be negatively affected. As there are Studies conducted over the past thirty years and it has supported the fact that exposure to violence at an early age effects the behaviour of these children who were exposed to it. Therefore, violent cartoons should not be displayed on television.
Cartoon violence makes children more aggressive. Actually, it is common to see, in cartoons, young boys pretending to shoot one another, while jumping on the couch and hiding in closets, playing by swords, falling from great heights, and so on. When children see these acts they learn and imitate them and the concept of aggression starts to grow inside them. Because Violence is a learned behaviour and children need to see violence in order to become violent themselves. A study was done study by television researchers Bandura and Ross to get at the truth about the effects of television violence on children. They split a group of kids into two groups: A and B. Next, they showed Group A a videotape of a child acting very aggressively with a doll. For example, the girl in the video hit and kicked the doll. The children in Group B were shown a tape in which the same girl was having a tea party with the same doll. Later in the experiment, they put the Group A kids in a room alone with an exact copy of the doll used in the video. The Children responded by hitting and kicking the doll and acted aggressively. The children in Group B were also put in a room alone with the doll and they played very nicely with it. To conclude, cartoons are too violent and cause aggressive behaviour in children.
This type of cartoon teaches children that the violence is a good way to solve problems. For example, if a child watches his/her favourite character hitting, kicking, and beating up the "bad guys", a child will learn these behaviors, as we mentioned before. However, most of these cartoons do not show any consequences for these behaviours. Therefore, children think that this is an acceptable form of problem solving. That is why we see a lot of adults solving their problems by shouting and attacking only .Summing up, children will be raised believing that the simplest way to solve any problem is being violent.
When children watch cartoons of violence on television, they believe that violence does not harm either them or others. For instance,adults watch violence on television and understand that it is not real. On contrary, children have difficulty in differentiating between what is real and what is make-believe. Actually, they are unable to realize that when a character attacks someone it is not real and should not be imitated. Consequently, if they watch the person in the cartoon gets bowled over by another character and they get back up without being harmed. Children begin to believe that violence doesn’t really hurt. Besides, television shows which allow the character who commits the crime to receive no punishment, teach children that it is alright to commit a crime because nothing will be done. As a result, this violence desensitizes children to real life violence and they began to consider violent an ordinary thing to be done. In a survey done on 56 elementary teachers, 96% reported that they were concerned about the effects of cartoons such as the Power Rangers on their students and that violence had increased among the children in their classes recently. Concluding, children are made to believe that the violence and aggression do not hurt by these cartoons.
Spelling trouble for children's, especially preschoolers, sleep is also a result of violent cartoons. In a new sleep study from the Seattle Children's Research Institute, researchers found that kids between the ages of 3 and 5 had more nightmares, daytime fatigue and difficulty waking up when they watched violent programming. One of these researchers said that the amount of violence wasn't huge, an average of 19 minutes a day, but it had a significant effect on daytime fatigue, difficulty getting up in the morning and the frequency of nightmares. Another example from mother who said: "I have a 5-year-old child who had horrible sleep difficulties from watching Monsters, Inc." Seeing nightmares is one of the consequences of watching cartoon.
Summing up, a positive step should be taken in our society which is preventing the cartoon of violence from our televisions. In addition, parents are responsible; They have to discipline their children in non-violent ways, and not to buy violent video games and toys. Also, parents should teach their kids early on about positive ways to handle conflict and problems.