Television and The American Culture

Essay by jwcpastorHigh School, 11th gradeA, August 2008

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Are Children Becoming What They Watch?As parents, no matter how hard we try to shelter our children from the unprecedented amount of violence portrayed on television, success is nearly impossible. If they don't see at home, they will see it at school, at a friend's house, in a magazine, or in their textbooks. The sad reality is that violence is part of the American Culture. Violence is how America became free; violence is how we bring freedom to other countries, even God's word states in Matthew 11:12, "…from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and men of violence take it by force" (NAS). While these acts of violence serve a much more meaningful purpose than many of those depicted on our television screens, the images, whether printed and tangible or just imaginable, still play a role in the lives of our children.

Despite the fact that Karen Springen's decision to ban their children from television may have been extreme, she and her husband had the right idea. It is important that healthy and attainable boundaries are put in place for children. These boundaries should include the type of programming allowed and the amount of time allotted for "screen time." Springen mentions that "Nielson Media Research reports that American children 2 through 11 watch three hours and 16 minutes of television every day" (292). Research further indicates that children who, on a weekly basis, watch more than 10 hours of television have greater odds of becoming overweight, aggressive, and to learn more slowly in school (292). Each of these factors needs to be considered when setting boundaries for children, and neither side of the pendulum is a healthy boundary for them.

Parents who are extreme in their decision to ban children from screen...