The Negative Effects of Media and Over-Consumption
5 negative effects linked to media over-consumption: you know what your child is watching, but how aware are you of what your child's absorbing?
What You Need to Know
Negative effects linked to over-consumption of media:
- If your child watches over 2 hours of television daily, he has a higher chance of becoming obese than children who watch less TV. Research demonstrates that almost 30% of commercials shown during popular shows for kids 6-11 were for food.
- Research has shown that the more media kids are exposed to beyond a healthy limit, the worse their performance in school, demonstrating smaller vocabularies, lack of reading skills, and worse test scores. One study shows that kids with TVs in their bedrooms score worse than peers who do not.
- 74% of TV characters are white, 64% of video game characters are male, women are portrayed as ultra-thin, and men are portrayed with over the top muscle definition – all sending the wrong message about what your child and the rest of the world should look like.
- Teens who see sex in the media are twice as likely to engage in sexual acts themselves.
- A study among four-year-olds demonstrated that if exposed to violence through media, they are more likely to be violent in their own lives and exhibit bully behaviors.
How You Can Help
- Keep televisions in a common area, and set aside a part of your child's day for media – ideally no more than one or two hours in front of a screen per day – then keep the rest of the day separate from that exposure.
- Kids influence $500 billion per year in spending – when you child asks for some cool new item, ask where he heard about it, whether it was in an advertisement, and what was appealing about it. Ask if it's something he wants or needs, and emphasize the difference.
- Pay attention to the TV shows or video games your child is watching or playing, and impose limitations to restrict certain material.
- Discuss the stereotypes and unrealistic images that surface.
- Explain the difference between what may happen in media, and what should not happen in the reality of your child's own life.
- Look into parental controls to block certain channels or shows with certain ratings.
For more on this topic, please see the full article:
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