Cartoons: how harmful they could be to children?
Cartoons are mass consumer products for children, which have always been questioned by child psychologists for their possible need for toxicity
Cartoons are mass consumer entertainment products that dazzle children who can spend hours watching them. For generations, parents have allowed their children to watch cartoons so that they can do other activities while their children are entertained. However, cartoons have always aroused controversy because their content may not be appropriate for children at times. Some experts in education and others in child psychology have warned about the harmful effects of cartoons, claiming that they harm children's behavior, distort reality and promote violence, among other issues.
Other groups of educators and child psychologists assure that the effects of cartoons on children's development are relative. The influence of animated series has nuances and everything depends on the context where the child is educated. Child psychologists advise that parents accompany their children while they watch cartoons, only this way they will have control over the way in which they entertain themselves. It is convenient that they interact so that all of them understand each other better.
The benefits of a harmonious coexistence will be manifested immediately and also in the following years, although there must be continuity in the accompaniment.
Avoid extreme decisions
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Many people wonder if it is good for parents to forbid their children to watch cartoons. The definitive answer is NO, the prohibition only makes everything worse. Children have to watch cartoons with some limits: time, schedules and type of cartoon, since some of them are not ideal for children. Giuseppe Iandolo, psychologist and researcher at Stanford University, assures that not allowing a child to watch cartoons because he considers them harmful, besides depriving him of an educational occasion, could harm his feeling of adequacy and relationship with his friends, and then he will claim that everyone else watches them and he does not.
Obviously watching cartoons for many hours from any platform and device is harmful to children. Iandolo asserts that children addicted to cartoons manifest some negative effects on socialization and communication. For example, feelings of loneliness, excessive identification with the cartoon characters and lower academic performance.
Many wonder about the plots of the stories, as they are sometimes very dramatic. Iandolo assures that they contribute to the child's emotional development. Parents should prevent their children from watching cartoons with violent content. Children under 12 are not prepared to assimilate such a level of aggressiveness.
Influence of the characters
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An essential question when watching cartoons is the degree of influence that the characters have on children. Experts assure that they do influence children. Parents should be attentive to which characters children admire, hate and even which ones they imitate. Iandolo assures that in the short term, during the viewing of the cartoon, the characters capture the child's full attention. The influence of the story will require a later maturation process. Parents should watch cartoons with their children and encourage them to communicate their own interpretations.
There is no such thing as a perfect cartoon because narrative thinking is based on the imperfect. A good animated series will allow the child and his parents to search for the meaning of the experience, just as it happens in real life.
During the last few years, cartoons and animated series with educational content have been generated. They encourage language improvement, self love, environmental care, universal friendship, respect for others, sports practice, among other virtues. This type of content is highly beneficial for children, since they learn positive values while they are entertained. They also become aware of the spatial-temporal dimension, as well as the ability to solve problems and difficulties through logic, reasoning and deductions.
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