31st August, 2003 Volume 10, Issue 7
Children and violence on TV
what doesn't seem to penetrate the minds of those airing these programmes is
that most often children together with their parents who watch these tend to
get carried away not realising the impact it could have on them in their
despite the close eye some parents have on their children there is no way to
stop them from watching violent programmes on television as one is followed
to The Sunday Leader graphic designer Farhad Hameed said as far as he knows
it is mostly the Tamil TV programmes that have a lot of
violence. "I have seen a couple of Hindi films and these have no
violent scenes. However there are some Western TV programmes
that are very bad," says Hameed.
on the influence these violent TV programmes have on children Hameed said,
"why should you stop children from watching such programmes. This is
reality in life. Children have been exposed to war situations and violence
in their day to day lives. So what harm is there if they watch some violent
TV programmes from time to time?"
to Hameed you should not give a one sided view to life. Even on some news
programmes they report on violent incidents. So if children are to be
prevented from watching news programmes what will they learn in life,"
went on to say that even if parents protect their children from watching
violent programmes there will come a day when a child may be exposed to a
violent TV programme. "At such a time there is always the danger that
these children may end up having nightmares especially since they haven't
seen such programmes before," Hameed explained.
was of the view that apart from sex scenes children should be exposed to a
certain amount of violence in life.
Sisira Kannangara, a university
student says many television stations cater to the needs of the adults and
not the children. "This is why even on Sundays between 2.00 p.m. and
5.00 p.m. some television stations air programmes that suit adults. They
don't realise that children are at home on a Sunday and may watch a violent
TV programme. These programmes are mostly Hindi and Tamil films," says
my opinion, most of the programmes on TV actually encourage violence,
portraying killing someone or committing a violent act as a courageous
thing. Obviously children are influenced by what they see.
I dread to think what must be going through a child's mind when
watching these programmes," says Sonali Wijeratne.
should be watchful
Ghouse is a mother of a nine year old daughter and a seven year old son.
Ghouse says the electronic media should reduce the number of Hindi and Tamil
television programmes especially during the weekends. "At least one
parent should be with the child when they are watching TV. A child cannot be
blamed if he or she watches a Hindi movie that has a lot of violence. I'm
not saying children should not have their freedom, but there should be a
certain amount of monitoring where children are concerned, says Ghouse.
to Ghouse she has never bought her son a toy gun as she believes there are
other options where toys are concerned. As a result of coaching my children
from a young age I have noticed that they don't like playing with violent
computer or TV games. I know it isn't easy for working parents to always be
behind their children. But in such cases parents should realise the future
impact violent television programmes can have on their children,"
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