Let’s face it, the things that our children watch today are a far cry from the tv programs that we watched when we were kids. Many of the programs today are fast paced and often expose children to negative influences such as violence and vulgar language. Don’t even get me started on Youtube videos with half naked singers twerking, gamers swearing like crazy, cheeky kids and Youtube stars that portray themselves in such unrealistic and fake ways.
***Disclosure – This post is sponsored***
Now I’m no prude, but it really is important to consider the impact that these things will have on our children, from numbing them towards violence to setting them up for unrealistic expectations in life to their own self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Here are some of my thoughts surrounding choosing appropriate TV shows for kids:
Watch With Your Kids
Looking at the age restriction of a movie or TV program is simply not enough anymore. There are plenty of programs that are deemed age appropriate that I find are not suitable for my children. Many programs show children being cheeky and rude to others as cool. This is not the sort of behaviour that I want my children to mimic. There is also a lot of violence being shown in some programs today, even in cartoons, and I don’t feel that children need to be seeing that and become desensitized to violence.
It is up to each parent to decide what they feel is appropriate for their children and the only way to truly know what they are watching and whether it is suitable is to sit with them and watch what they are watching. A bonus to this is that it creates a fantastic bonding opportunity.
If you are not able to watch with your kids make sure to read some reviews from someone you trust or ask other moms about that program. You can also schedule a bit of time to run through one or two episodes to get an idea of what it is about and whether is appropriate before allowing them to watch on their own.
What Is The Message Of The Show?
Yes I know watching TV is about entertainment, sure, but each show has a theme. Some shows have a really good message. While not everything has to have a purely educational focus I like my kids to watch something that has a good message, something that is wholesome as well as fun and entertaining.
I love it when the programs that my children watch reinforce the important things that I am trying to teach my children. It is fantastic when a show opens up lines of communication between myself and my children on important topics.
Pay Attention To The Pace Of The Show
This may not be something that many parents worry about, but I have my concerns about the how fast paced so many TV shows for kids are. I once tried to show my children a classic movie from my childhood and they didn’t even make it through the opening titles before saying they were so bored and they ran off to do something else.
From my own personal experience with my kids, it seems that the fast pace of these shows makes my children edgy and they expect instant gratification.
After doing a bit of research online evidence suggests that faced paced TV shows can have a negative effect on your child’s attention and memory.
Watch Out For Violence, Language and Sexual Content
The amount of violence, language and sexual content that our children may be exposed to on TV or online has increased over time. While many parents may feel that watching this sort of content may have little to no effect on our children however research shows that children quickly become desensitized to things that they watch and that over time these things can impact the way that they behave.
While watching a movie with violence and sexual content may not make our children act out in those specific ways studies have shown that this sort of content results in reduced empathy, increased objectification and the erosion of morality.
The Dangers Of Watching On Social Media
Now I know that Youtube is not exactly a TV show, but my kids would be on Youtube all day long if I let them. They are obsessed with watching gamers and young Youtube stars. One of my biggest concerns is that when my young kids watch these channels and see what these youngsters are doing and the way that they talk they think it is just so cool. They aspire to be them.
I’ve tried explaining to my children that what they see is not reality but they are still blown away but it all. While there is a lot of great content on Youtube there is also a lot to be concerned about. My advice is not to leave your kids unattended with Youtube and to pay attention to what they are watching at all times. I’ve had a few occasions where I have gotten distracted for just a few minutes to find that my kids are suddenly watching something that they shouldn’t be.
I find I am a lot more relaxed and comfortable with my kids watching on Netflix or on DSTV because it is so much easier to control the shows that they watch.
Recommended Watching – Elliott From Earth Is On The Way!
I’m so excited to share with you that Elliott From Earth is launching at 09h35 on Saturday 13 March 2021 on Cartooon Network Africa. I was given a sneak preview of the first episode and my kids and I are already so in love with it and we cannot wait to watch the four-part introductory special on the morning it launches.
Elliott and his mom, Frankie, travel across the universe to The Centrium which has many biospheres with different habitats. Elliott finds Mo, a Stegosaurus dinosaur, in biosphere 11-38 before they move to make their new home in the Hive, which is a city in the centre of The Centrium.
To find out more about the show, including information about the characters and theme please click here to read the press release I published last week.
I will be sharing a full review soon, but for now I can share with you that this TV show really is fantastic and ticks all the boxes that I look for when I’m looking for a show for my children to watch.
Here are a few things that I love about it:
- The story-line is delightful and fun, sparking my kids imagination
- It is a show that I can watch and enjoy too, which is a biggie in my eyes
- There are amazing lessons to be learned, such as the importance of friendship, kindness and connection
- It is positive, humorous and upbeat which is something we can all do with in these trying times
- It focuses on inclusivity and diversity, celebrating differences
- It creates an opportunity for discussion on important topics that come up in the show
- The age group of 7-12 years old is a perfect fit for my kids (my son is 7 and my daughter is 9)