LIFE: How is the Media Conditioning Your Children's Perception on Life & Relationships?
By Lauren Packer
According to the Statistics Brain Research Institute, children spend 1,480 hours a week watching t.v. A lot, I know, but think about it.. between morning and afternoon television time, weekend cartoon time, and all the times in between, that sounds about right. Im sure that all of us parents , me included are guilty of telling our kids to go watch tv, or popping in a movie to keep them occupied. It’s fine, its cool.. but what are your children watching? How big of an impact does what your child is watching have not only on their present actions, but their future actions as well…
There is an old psychology experiment a long time ago.. called the Bobo doll experiment, children were shown a video of another child beating up the Bobo doll. After the video, the children were placed in a room with the doll, shockingly, the children did what they saw in the video. The experiment proved that children mimic what they see, especially on t.v. . The same is true with relationships. Children are impressionable, so what they see on television and in real life from familiar faces is what they become conditioned to.
What does that mean? Let me break it down: if a child is living in a house that is filled with arguing and fighting, they become conditioned, meaning that is what they consider normal… so in turn, that is how they foster relationships. If a boy sees his father abusing his mother verbally, physically, or in any other way, and then they see music videos or movies that have the same thing happening, that is what they will grow up to do the same thing to their spouse. If a young girl is in a single parent home, and all she sees is mom struggling and going from guy to guy.. There is a strong possibility that she will grow up on that same pattern because that is all that she sees.
Our society is so media driven, and parents do not realize that a lot of things our children see in the media, directly affects their behaviors, thoughts, and even dreams and goals. That is why athletes and music artists get paid big bucks and get major endorsements. I mean, how many kids would stand in line to buy the latest M.D. (medical doctor) tennis shoes or clothes? How many young women are willing to wait for the perfect guy designed for them, instead of trying guy after guy and staying with the one with the most money or the one who plays on this team? How many young men, will chose the girl with career goals instead of the one with big …assets and a limited vocabulary??
That is why it is utterly important to nurture our children with positivity. Let them see great relationships, not only with spouses, but with friends too. It is important to foster morals and values in them that they can use to defend themselves against things that they have to see. It is so important to help mold our children into beings of success and integrity. In this day and age things like uniqueness, individuality, and common sense are rare.. it is our jobs to teach them, to model, and to exemplify….
With that said… What is your child seeing??? After reading this article and watching this video, what do you think your children are perceiving for normal behavior? Did you grow up having your media intake, monitored? If not or if so, how do you think it affected your perception of the world? Got any child development questions for #LaurenPackerTheEducator? Sound off in the comments!