Whenever we think of kid’s entertainment, the first word that comes to our mind is a cartoon. There was a time when cartoons were limited to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Scooby Do, Popeye-the sailor man and Donald Duck. But with the advent of emerging technologies, the animation has got to a new dimension. Nowadays, the cartoons have become so trendy that no child product or birthday party is complete without Pooh or Mickey Mouse stamped on it. But before you get too comfortable with the fact that a child is watching cartoon only, think again. Cartoons are readily available more on television and the internet than yours child appetite. Hence, here are some questions that you need to ponder upon before allowing them to watch cartoons for hours and hours:
- What is the child gaining after spending so many hours watching the television?
- Is he learning something?
- What kind of cartoons do you want him to indulge in and what kind of cartoons he is actually watching?
Violence-The violence depicted in the cartoons is the main challenge. For example, Jerry putting Tom’s tail on fire resulting in a Big Bang explosion and a lot of giggles or The X-Men using its powers to battle against the bad guys or Spiderman building cobwebs to destroy its enemies, or He Man pulling up his sword, guns to fight. Once a child gets comfortable to such kind of cartoons, he feels it’s fun to hit and harm people rather than being courteous. Seeing the bloodshed makes the child insensitive and he may not think twice before hurting someone. One of the moms from Kochi confessed that once I happened to watch Shinshan cartoon with my child and that was the last day he was allowed to watch the cartoon. She asserted that children, as it is, are brimmed with ideas and actions and I don’t want him to pick up any unsafe ideas from the cartoon characters.
Language– Another challenge that many parents face is the profane language used in the cartoons. Many cartoons are dubbed in Hindi and often use abusive and slang words freely and the children have a knack of picking up such words very easily. For example, remember the song of Rang De Basanti, “Aye Sala”. In a similar way, the children pick up these words easily and it becomes difficult for the parents to unlearn them. In addition, the advertisements shown during the intervals are not child friendly. So, in the end, the child absorbs more information than it is required and ends up in being confused.
In fact, the clinical psychologist confessed that the child who watches such cartoons all the day is unable to process whole information and ends up attaching own interpretation to. Hence, as parent, it is our duty to encourage the child to develop an interest in sports and other outdoor activities instead. It will not only keep the children occupied and entertained but will also improve the child’s acumen. Another option is to apply parental control so that your child can enjoy the selected cartoons only.
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