How does media affect children? Is influence of media on young minds a good thing? Or is it bad? It is one of the most debated topics among parents, which leads to a rather one-sided conclusion. To be honest, media can have both positive and negative influence on a child. But much of it depends on the parents. I have heard so many objections about children getting addicted to TV shows, Youtube videos from my relatives, colleagues, and others. But I am quite astonished to observe great changes in the manner and behavior of my three year old boy. He is so influenced, of course positively, by the media that it has brought a revolutionary change in him.
It is really amazing to see my tiny, little boy posing as the Superman. He always thinks himself a Superman who does only the noble deeds. Whenever he gets hurts he tries to hide his pain. Another outstanding change I have observed is that my little boy is so impressed with the advertisement of Born Vita that he started taking milk with it. In his early days, he couldn’t tolerate the smell of milk. But after watching this ad, he became so influenced that he began to take milk mixed with Born Vita. He wants to make himself healthier, stronger. He tells me, “Mom, look at me, how strong I am! My bones are stronger!” It gives me immense pleasure to see him so aware of his health and well-being.
If we have severe headache, we can’t cut off our heads. Same goes about media, we can’t avoid it. If we resist our children from watching TV, or Youtube, it will only drift them apart from the fun ways of learning. Parents should be thankful and grateful to the media for powerful positive influence upon children like my sweet-naughty boy. I think parents should not be so worried about their children’s love for TV shows and Youtube videos.
A piece of advice on screen type and screen time
But I also strongly believe that childhood is the time for children to develop their aesthetics and values. So, only allow them to watch programs that are aesthetically pleasing, intellectually intriguing, and fun. There are numerous fun learning shows on television and Youtube. You should allow your child to watch those shows, so they can learn new things in a fun way. Digital media could be a very effective way to improve reading and learning skills of your child.
But don’t let them watch Youtube videos on tablets, ipads, or phone screen. If you have a smart TV, let them watch TV shows or Youtube videos. But make sure you discipline them well to watch those programs maintaining a minimum distance from the screen. Always ensure that the Screen is not too sharp or too dim for your child’s eyes. Ensure adequate lighting in the TV room. If you don’t have a smart TV, but you have a TV with a USB port, you can still help your child enjoy the same fun by connecting a hard disk filled with contents you think are good for your child.
Last but not the least, don’t carried away by seeing the great fun he has by watching those programs. As a parent, you should always restrict his screen time to no more than an hour a day. Let him play, go outside, and experiment every thing else, which is also very important for his physical and mental growth.