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What Effect Does Media Have on a Child?

Raising children in any time is already a challenging, albeit rewarding, task. However, raising kids today comes with its own set of challenges, because there is a never-ending stream of media that the average child intakes throughout their day-to-day lives. The media that your child is consuming does have an effect on their behavior and view of the world. For this reason, it’s worth examining the types of media that your children are viewing…

Violent media in children

Today, the average child in America will view roughly 200,000 violent acts in the media they consume by the age of 18. There is an interesting dynamic about Americans’ tolerance for violent media. First of all, most violence that we find acceptable is typically done by who we perceive to be the hero of a story, against somebody that we perceive to be the villain. This creates an idea of violence as a means of justice. According to some studies, there is a connection between the amount of violent media that a child consumes, and behavior that is classified as aggressive being conducted by that same child.

Marketing to children

For young children, it can be difficult to understand that there are many types of media that are trying to sell them something, particularly in commercials, which are difficult to for kids under the age of 6 to discern from a normal TV show. In addition, children nearly every day surrounded by marketing and advertising. Oftentimes, companies try to attach a feeling of instant gratification to a product in their marketing strategies, and it is important to help children understand that this is the purpose of these types of media.

Media oversaturation can impact physical health

Obesity and media share a tenuous connection in children. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (or NHANES), more than 18% of 2-19 year olders in the United States are classified as obese. Researchers have linked the skyrocketing rate of childhood obesity to the amount of screen time that children engage in, nowadays. According to these studies, there is a direct correlation with lower amounts of screen time and a lower BMI.

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