23 April 2018
TV shows are a key part of the development of children in today’s society. Children watch different shows and like different genres of shows. They learn lessons about life or themselves. That people live different lifestyles or have a different point of view than their own. These lessons are very beneficial for children. TV shows are beneficial for children because it allows children to see people face reality and increase their creativity.
Reality shows are stereotyped as “trash entertainment” and many people look down on people who watch reality shows. However, reality shows can be very informational and show different lifestyles. One genre of reality shows that does this well is competition shows such as Amazing Race. Vox stated “Even the contestants’ backgrounds — on Amazing Race and other shows — allow us to consider how Americans differ, from New Jersey to Kentucky to California. Reality shows like Amazing Race and Survivor like to slap labels on the participants (‘the Boston Firefighter,’ ‘the Cheerleader,’ etc.), but the people themselves often defy easy description.” Children need to learn about different cultures to have a better understanding of the world. These shows highlight different cultures and people. This exposure of differences leads to children being more tolerable and understanding of different points of view. Also, it allows children to think about the lifestyle that they might want to live in the future. Children are able to expand their imagination of the future if they are able to watch TV and see a new type of future for themselves that they didn’t previously consider. This show is about people doing rigorous challenges in groups. This teaches children about hard work and how to work with others.
Stress is something that is unavoidable in life. The way that children cope with stress should be something that is not self-destructive or harmful to others. TV is a possible solution to this problem. According to a study by the University of Siena’s neonatal intensive care unit, children feel less pain while getting blood tested when they were watching cartoons even more than maternal attempts at distraction. TV shows are an easy and realistic way for children to cope with stress. Children who can cope with stress are better suited in life because they are able to back away from stress and regroup themselves. Also, the TV shows themselves teach children ways to destress or talk about their stress. Sesame Street has throughout its’ episodes talked about how to deal with stress or talk to children about stress. In a segment of an episode titled “Comforting Children Through Stressful Time,” Rosita talks to Nina about being scared about things on TV. Nina responds “Well, if you see something or hear something that makes you or you (looking at the camera) feel sad or scared, tell a grown-up that’s close to you.” Nina’s advice of talking to someone else a healthy way to cope with stress because it allows children to learn how to use their words to explain their feelings and it shows that it is okay to feel stressed.
TV shows push parents and children to have difficult conversations that they would otherwise never talk about or even push off. An article titled “The Benefits of Watching TV With Your Kids” by Steven Schlozman on U.S. News website showed how one mother had conversations about politics and death with her 12-year-old daughter while watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix. In the article, it states “ … a great story can spur discussion about all sorts of topics big and small; and while a shared television program isn’t the only way to do this, it’s certainly one of the best.” TV shows allow children to ask questions about how the world works. This forces parent to be honest and open to their children. It shows children that asking questions is healthy and important. Parents are able to talk about hard topics such as death before it personally affects their children. The conversation could have a more relaxed tone and children would have some background information about the topic.
TV shows are something that most children watch on a daily basis. Children have different reasons for watching TV. However, they are all influenced by the shows that they watch. TV shows can improve children's point of view on life and themselves. TV encourages children to ask questions and be more open about a different point of views. For this reasons, society should rethink the stigma that TV is only for entertainment and children shouldn't watch shows.
Murray, Noel. “Reality TV Offers Valuable Lessons for Children. Really.” Vox, Vox, 12 Apr. 2018,www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/12/17147740/reality-tv-parenting-children-media-literacy-survivor.
WebMD. “TV Can Reduce Stress For Kids.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 Aug. 2006, www.cbsnews.com/news/tv-can-reduce-stress-for-kids/.
SesameStreet. “Comforting Children Through Stressful Times.” YouTube, YouTube, 14 July 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4FNLF2sgo4.
Schlozman, M.D. Steven. “The Benefits of Watching TV With Your Kids.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/2017-11-27/the-benefits-of-watching-tv-with-your-kids