However, there have been numerous articles and research conducted that shows the negative effects of television on children. It has been stated that "watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness" in children (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2002). Even cartoons have some form of violence.
When we see Tom and Jerry chasing each other and hitting each other on the head with a mallet or a hammer, they normally survive this and children tend to think that its play, that the next person will survive it like Gerry does each time. In reality, when a child hits another child with a mallet or a hammer on the head, or imitate a wrestling move they saw on TV, the repercussions are dangerous if not fatal (Kernshaw 2007). So if violent television shows have this effect on children, would it be possible to say that it can also influence good behavior
"Designated Driver" was a television-based campaign started by the Harvard School of Public Health that targeted young adults about the dangers of driving under the influence. (Harvard) They began the campaign in 1988. By 1998, they estimated that almost 50,000 lives were saved because of the campaign together with the community's efforts to impose stricter guidelines and penalties. Of course, the target audience for this campaign was young adults. And it worked. The principles are still the same if applied to younger children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says "children older than 2 should watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming." The AAP further adds that "children under age 2 should have no "screen time", like TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games, at all." (Jordan et al 2006)
On the other hand, we have to consider the case to case basis as shown by Ariel Gore in her article "TV can be a Good Parent." Ariel points out that single mothers have been "helped" by the 'electronic babysitter' when they need to take a break. How many single parents are there in America alone Mercy Tree Ministries (2005) have reported that "there are 11.6 million single mother households with children under 21." How many single mothers avail of the television as an electronic babysitter in their hour of need Can we really blame them
Children are impressionable at a young age. They imitate what they see on TV. They imitate what adults do and say. If they continuously see violence on TV, it isn't impossible to say their behavior towards other children will be aggressive as well.
In this manner, it is apparent that if they continuously see good TV shows, then it's also possible they'll be good towards other children. It is a matter of filtering what children watch.
But parents - couples and single parents - cannot be on hand all the time to filter out what their children watch on TV. Parents cannot guarantee that the nanny they leave with their children will watch only the shows the parents list down as 'good shows' because nannies are human beings too and they will watch their favorite soap opera even in full view of the children.
Of course, day care centers have a good line up of children shows and an educational list of DVDs to show the children during day care hours. Television, once filtered, has its advantages as well if used for educational purposes.
The key word is IF it is used as an educational tool. It is good that