Factors to Consider when Choosing TV Content for Kids’ Education
Kids learn a lot by watching and picking up words, actions, nuances, and other forms of non-verbal and verbal social cues. This is why you will find a three-year-old mimicking the mannerisms of his father or grandfather, and indeed, as he grows older, starts displaying the traits of his forebears.
It also means that if there is any harmful, negative, or socially awkward content within proximity of children, one is advertently teaching them that such content is an acceptable form of behavior. It is therefore important that parents and adults alike pay attention to the content they consume in the presence of kids, as well as the TV programs which they allow children under their watch to watch.
Several people have made inquiries on how to choose quality TV content that will enhance the social and academic education of the youngsters on platforms such as ReviewsBird.com.
The below, however, as some factors to consider in choosing children’s television content and programs.
How old are the children who will be watching the program?
There are age-specific programs, designed to teach children at certain ages how to act or respond to social cues and circumstances. Many TV programs have Parental Guidelines (PG) ratings to inform viewers that certain programs should not be watched by people below certain ages.
If you have little children, it might be tiring listening to the conversations on cartoons for hours on end, but other educational programs can be craft and art-oriented, singing and rhymes and other such content which will not drive the parent up the wall and will also prove enjoyable to the little ones.
As children grow, however, they become inquisitive about things like sexuality, intimacy, romance, and their bodies, and might want to watch programs that seem to give answers to their inquiries. However, Educators and other stakeholders in the child development industry insist that accessing information that is beyond a child’s age-grade could lead to trauma, among many other negative consequences.
What can parents and guardians do?
- Put the channel permanently on child-friendly stations.
- Watch the movies or cartoons ahead of time, if you can. This will allow you to filter out inappropriate programs or content that you might have otherwise exposed the children too.
- Watch alongside the kids when you can make the time. This way, you can address any grey areas immediately, rather than allowing them to linger and turn into an issue in the mind of the kids. Avoid content with sex, violence, foul language, racism, and other negatives.
- Learn TV Parental Guidelines such as TV-Y, which is content that is suitable for all ages; TV-Y7, directed to older children from age 7 upwards, TV-Y7-FV, a more intense version of TV-Y7 and might contain some fantasy violence; TV-PG, which requires Parental Guidance and TV-14, which will have content that is unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.
Education goes way beyond schooling, and the media is a major vehicle for the development of public perception, as well as an avenue for children to learn social interaction cues and actions. Parents and guardians should therefore choose programming models that offer educational and moral values such as racial/ethnic tolerance, empathy, helpfulness, and others.