Media can have a positive effect on our children, especially if parents get involved themselves when their children are using them. It is difficult to choose the good from the bad when it comes to media. Apart from good messages there are several negative messages about media. This depends upon how viewing and interacting with it might harm children. Research shows that children can benefit from media. The benefits depend on how old are the children and what kind and quality of media the children are using.
For children under two, there are no benefits from any media but above three years meticulously chosen TV programs, movies and computer games offer many developmental and social benefits. Further to these media, social networking sites can have social benefits for teenagers.
It is necessary that parents get involved with their children with the use of media. For instance parents can visit quality websites together, encourage their child to use educational software, and view TV shows that offer additional learning opportunities.
When parents watching TV and movies together, they should discuss the plot, they should see how their children feels about what’s happening, and the real-life consequences of wrong and illegal actions.
For younger children, the benefits of media include developing literacy skills, numeracy skills and social skills. From these particular skills the children will be learning the alphabet through programs such as Play School and educational computer games. They will be learning to count through programs. They will be also using computer games and websites, such as ABC.
For older children the benefits for media are intellectual benefits, educational benefits creative benefits and social benefits. In this context the children will be developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills by playing computer games. It will encourage reading, particularly after watching a program or movie based on a book. It will help to teach children strategies for effectively and safely using social networking sites, or playing computer games with friends and family. Further it will be useful in developing skills in imagination, art and modeling, music and media, through using software to create a picture.
The children can develop their reading, writing and critical thinking skills through using blogs, and becoming involved in message boards, such as on movie or news sites. They can also
develop social skills through connecting with others on social networking sites. The political and social awareness will arise by watching news, current affairs and documentaries. In this case the children can be media creators. They will make their own movies, take photographs, and create online content, which can help them develop critical thinking, social, technical and artistic skills.
Good TV programs and movies help children to explore places, animals, people, ideas, issues and cultures. Movies or TV programs with good role models can also positively influence children. Good role models are people or characters who are doing things or behaving in ways that parent would not mind their children copying. Movies and TV programs can also be a good way to expose your child to diversity, especially ethnic diversity.
Software and websites that get children drawing pictures or making up stories or rhymes can foster creativity. For preschoolers especially, this can also be a way for them to express ideas and feelings. Computer games give young children simple choices such as choosing a character or finding a background for a picture. This can also help our children make creative decisions. Interactive computer games and websites can help children learn more effectively.
Broadening of children’s knowledge
A new study suggests that educational television programs are successful in broadening young children’s knowledge, affecting their racial attitudes and increasing their imaginations. It suggests that educational television programs are successful in broadening young children’s knowledge, affecting their racial attitudes and increasing their imaginations.
The research found that there is information to suggest that educational television programs, can aid in the achievement of general knowledge plus improve overall mental knowledge among young children. There is also evidence in the literature that children’s imaginative play can be positively affected by television content. Furthermore, there is evidence that educational television programming that emphasizes diversity can improve children’s racial attitudes.
On the adverse side, there is evidence that television viewing can increase a child’s display of aggression. Children who watch destructive programs and cartoons with lots of violence can be more likely to engage in aggressive behavior than those that do not. At this point, we should continue to be cautious about the amount and type of television we let our children watch.
Media’s exposure in Pakistani children’s lives is necessary. Today, our children spend several hours a day with media. The negative repercussion of children’s media consumption should receive a lot of attention. Media’s distinctive power and reach can also be used to educate children and ameliorate their lives.
Television, which once monopolized children’s media consumption habits, is now joined by computers, video game players, cell phones and other connected devices. The consequence is that children today are completely engrossed in media experiences from a very young age.
Keeping in view the lot political talk shows; it is the right time that our channels should allot their quality time for children’s related programming. Our valuable time should not be only for politics rather there should be at least three days in a week on every channel for social issues The channels may be asked to air at least three hours of children educational programming per week and legislation can also be initiated in this regard on priority basis.
Pakistan’s perception for children social and economic development depends on the success of its education system and for this media and particularly our channels have to play their strategic role. This is time to rise and act promptly.