In such an early age, children are entertained with cartoons for the majority of their time. Showcasing colourful animation that attracts children’s interest, it’s only natural that they would get attached to the characters. As of today, there has been a wide range of channel serving endless programmes of cartoons for children for any stage of age.
As most of us know, the first five years is when our brain develops the most, and most impressionable. To comfort the concerned parents, there are numerous cartoons that give educational values within their stories. Therefore, cartoons are considered to be “safe”, so to speak, to be consumed by our youngsters. But, do you really think that cartoon is a good programme for kids?
The Effects of Cartoons on Children
One sure thing about
- Early start on learning
- Cognitive and language development
- Enhanced creativity
- Laughter and stress relief
While cartoons have many positive effects on children, they can have negative effects on child behaviour and development as well. With that said, the various negative effects are:
- Encourages violence
- Unruly behavious and lack of empathy
- Foul language
- Unsocial behavious and health problems due to sedentary lifestyle
The Real Issue: Subliminal Messages
As mentioned, cartoons are believed to play an important role in children’s development. In that sense, parents are giving it the benefit of the doubt that there’s nothing to be worried about when it comes to the young children watching the programme. While it may be true, there has been some evidence surfacing around the internet that shows dishonouring subliminal messages in children shows.
The thought of cartoons may be a bad influence that would potentially brainwashing children’s brain, unfortunately, is very scary. Allegedly, there are numerous kinds of hidden messages, like about sex and illuminati. Just take a look some of these evidences, and you can be the judge.
As if those are not scary enough… But, the worst one about hidden messages in cartoons is about suicide. The characters show intent for suicide as they are down and frustrated on something… as if showing that death is a way out, to be free at last. And, the way they’re showing the act of suicide seems to be in a glorifying way, making it looks exciting. Just think about Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Daisy Duck… Or, let’s just see an example from one of the most popular cartoons nowadays, Spongebob Squarepants.
Or, the depressed Daisy Duck…
Even though it was meant to be a joke or else, but the effect of it might be planting an idea in our minds since we were kids that… suicide is an option. Because, when we were kids, we were told that it would set us free — as we sat in front of the tv watching our favourite cartoon character kill themselves and making it seems exciting.
Cartoons have been showing this kind of suicide contents for a long time, it goes even further back. Take a look at one of the stories in Mickey Mouse comics back in 1930, where Mickey was seen depressed as Minnie met a charming fella.
Here’s What We Can Do…
If you’re a parent, or soon-to-be parents, this might give you some kind of anxiety to see these kinds of contents being shown to your kids. But, that doesn’t mean that you should ban your children from watching cartoons. There are some tips for parents to deal with the negative side effects of cartoons, such as:
1. Watch with Your Kids — Monitor what they see and also observe their reaction to various events in the storyline.
2. Limit the Number of Hours — Set a rule that limits the time for watching TV or cartoons, and encourage them to go out and play instead.
3. Select Appropriate or Educational Cartoons — Allow your child to watch only age-appropriate or educational cartoons that do not depict or encourage negative behaviour.
4. Explore Informative Channels — Explore channels like Discovery, National Geographic, and Animal Planet for informative and educational content that will aid in the overall development of your child.
Cartoons can have both positive and negative effects on children depending on what kind of cartoon they watch. By limiting children’s screen time and encouraging them to go outside and play, you can ensure that your children are healthier and happier. Following the tips listed will certainly help in avoiding the negative effects of cartoons on child development and behaviour.