Sunday, July 3, 2011

How Children Interpret

Children need not have to watch an adult movie on television or "grown-up" only channels to grasp the concept of violence. They learn it anyway watching their favourite cartoons on the kids' channels!
The other day, my older son, who will be seven later this year, was deeply engrossed in his world of drawing. While admiring his artistic creations, my eyes caught the attention of a specific one; this particular picture enthralled me. To me, it depicted something like a NASA Space Shuttle landing safely on Earth.
However, driven by curiosity, I asked my son to tell me the beautiful story he had just put on paper. I was flabbergasted when I heard his interpretation.
The picture which looked like a Space Shuttle was indeed a 'Missile', which according to my son was launched from outer space and that the aliens were waging a war against the Earth. I thought his imagination was running helter-skelter.
Gathering some patience, I calmly questioned him as to how he got the concept of the aliens destroying or attacking the earth. I just gaped, when he, in his childish innocence, said, "I watched it on Cartoon Network."
As parents, we have to play the role of a 'Teacher', especially the mother, whom the child spends most of the day with'.
If you think your child is watching too much television (even if it's a kids' cartoon programme) or watching channels which you think are not suitable for his age, try to divert his attention somewhere else, like; reading, writing, drawing/painting, (which did work quite marvellously, with my four "Fond Of The Television" children).
Exposing children to all kinds of violence on television, be it the war, the killings/shootings taking places in schools in other countries, violent protests on the streets and even the children's cartoons with the wrong message, can subsequently carry a negative impact on the growing young minds. With this type of adverse effect, they will lack the social skills to interact with their peers. Some children learn to mimic improper and violent actions of some cartoon characters and develop unhealthy attitudes like being arrogant and aggressive.
Our duty is to teach the children positive attitudes in life from their tender age, instil good habits and good behaviour into them, and mould them to be good human beings in their later years.
Nonetheless, we should set restrictions and guide them to watch appropriate television programmes and channels. Being too harsh or punishing them severely for watching inappropriate programmes, will only aggravate the situation. We should also bear in mind that under such circumstances, always try different options to fix the problem; not mix and mess it.
It is our responsibility to spend 'quality' time with our loved ones, bonding and sharing special moments with them, so that 'quantity' time in front of the television is reduced. We should also learn to relax with our children (away from the TV room), take them outdoors sometimes and have time to give ears to their voices however much, insignificant it may sound. And, I, as a mother, learnt a lesson as well, from my son's drawing. I learnt to value his opinion.

( This is my article which was published in a newspaper magazine)

My son's cyber painting



  1. I will be very mindful of what my 3-year-old daughter is watching on TV, from now on. For now, she likes watching shows under the Playhouse Disney channel. But I worry now because by July 11th, Playhouse Disney will reformat into Disney Junior. So I'm not sure what type of shows will be retained and which will be introduced.


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