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Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development Essay


The objective of this study is to explore the concept of media and its application in child development. The study will therefore highlight some of the effects that accompany the use of televisions and other forms of media in homes and other areas of resident. For better understanding of how televisions and other forms of media such as radios, news papers, letters, posters, emails and public meetings contribute to child development, the study will examine the positive and negative effects or impacts of media in child development.

However, people have different understanding of what media is, for instance, many people argue that media use radios and televisions only. Ignoring other forms of media that influence children during their early ages and as they advance in ages is not good especially when a child is about to be negatively influenced (CardWell, 2000). Media is a means of communication used daily by people to pass and receive information.

Moreover, media in computerized world refers to the different forms of data storage options include the removable drives such as DVDs, USB drives, CD-R discs, Flash Memory, CD-ROM and Floppy disks among others (CardWell, 2000).

In addition to this, a computer takes the form of media since it serves as a Multimedia integration of other types of media for instance, graphics, sounds (Audios) and texts. All these forms of media have different impacts on child development (CardWell, 2000).


Traditional society differs greatly from the modern society based on the types of media used. For instance, in traditional society letters and newspapers were a popular means through which people communicated with each other. The flow of information was therefore slow as compared in modern society.

However, technology advancement resulted to the introduction of new means of communications that are faster (of high speed). Therefore, information in modern society spreads from one place to another within a short duration of time because of increased use of high-speed media (Singer, 2001).

This explains the reason why the use of media leads to different levels of impact on child development in both traditional and modern society. The absence of various media in traditional society affected child development severely compared to modern society whereby a child exposes to different ways of communication.

The study will examine the effects posed by media on child development by analyzing both the positive and the negative sides of the Media (Singer, 2001).

Positive Effects of Media in child development

Usefulness of Television in child development

As mentioned within the context of the study, television is among the modern means or type of media that has come along with advanced technology. Back in traditional society, it was very rare to come across a homestead whereby people watch news from the television meaning that children had no exposure to the positive and negative impacts of television in their development.

However, at ancient times (traditional society), people relied on letters as the only means of communication. The other means of communication include the use of word of mouth, which in our case is a type of media rarely used. It bases on the level of understanding and interpretation (Van-Evra, 2004).


The use of television as a form of media in modern society has contributed greatly on child development for instance, televisions have offers a wide range of entertainment to the children, which is of much help or use in their development.

Moreover, there are varieties of programs that provide entertainment centers for children for instant the cartoon program mostly presented by many television channels have captured the attention of many children. As young people, children enjoy watching cartoons because they belief that the cartoons are children like them. Many of such children addict to the use of television because they only think that the sole use of television is to watch cartoons but not the news (Van-Evra, 2004).

The most affected children are those brought up in urban areas whereby each house has a television. The music presented in television has converted many children into watching channels that present music. Television plays an important role in socializing of the children.

As it is known that socialization is the major part in children development, parents have been freed from actively participating in the socialization process though their role is still deemed necessary because if they fail to control the interaction of children and the television, many children will lose their way. This means that they will adapt other forms of behaviors contrary to the societal norms (Van-Evra, 2004).

Still on the issue of entertainment, television gives children the opportunity to familiarize with the real world by watching programs for instant watching animals on the television gives them highlights on the different types of animals existing on the earth.

In so doing children grow up knowing different types and characteristics of animals. They recognize animals that are dangerous and friendly to human beings for instance lions, cheaters, buffalos, elephants, tigers among others kill hence they aware not to interact with them (Van-Evra, 2004).


As the saying goes where there is entertainment there must be education or something that people can learn from, television serves a resourceful role of educating children contributing to their development. Children learn many things when they watch cartoons from the television for instance; the cartoons portray certain situation such as children in school.

Through watching cartoons relate to their teachers and other pupils, the child learns to relate with his or her friends and teachers in the school. This offers the child an opportunity to learn the moral roles and school norms becoming a good student or pupil. A child may contemn caning by the teachers without knowing that caning is a control mechanism for teachers to the pupils.

When such child sees a cartoon showing teachers caning pupils in school, the child understands the importance of the cane to the teacher. He realizes that a came guides the behaviors of pupils (Van-Evra, 2004).

However, televisions acts as a fertile ground through which the process of socialization becomes effective to the child. Watching of television enables the child to learn to communicate by imitating words either coming from the television or listening to different people such as presenters as they air news to the public.

In addition, children learn many languages as they continue watching and listening to different television channels. English, French and Kiswahili are example of national languages widely used almost by every nation in the world. Television news presents using national languages that all people understand.

Based on this issue, the child will be in apposition to learn the national language enabling communication with other students of diverse communities. This simply indicates how the use of television plays crucial roles in child development (Van-Evra, 2004).

Elimination of idleness

A Child is a complex creature whose concentration attaches to a particular thing understanding the whole meaning because of idleness. A child can think of many things that have no use in his or her development. Based on this issue, watching of television keeps the child busy hence being able to learn useful things or activities in future, for instance, through media socialization, the child can learn how to read and write among others.

Local programs have captured the attention of many children hence developing interest in watching of television as an activity that makes them avoid boredom associated with their idleness (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).

Negative effects of the use of television on Child development

Bad socialization

Earlier on in the study it has been mentioned that though different types of media have positive impacts on child development, they also possess negative effects for instance, despite the entertainment, educative, socialization, and elimination of idleness role played by the use of television, other uses bring about negative effects to the child development.

For instance, some television programs interfere with the child development by altering their personalities and interests. Programs such as videos of gangsters and their operations make a child to develop interest in stealing. Such programs portray how gangsters break into banks and succeed to steal millions of money without the track of the police.

A child may think that the best way through which an individual can become rich or wealthier in short duration of period is through stealing. That child grows up knowing that stealing is not bad because is a way of getting money. This evidences television interferes with mental development of the child (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).

Other programs may present sexually implicit programs whereby a man and a woman falling in love and are indulging in sex. This affects the child negatively because he or she comes to learn sexual behaviors that are not in line with his or her age of development.

Such a child indulges in sexual activities in early age that may interfere with his or her education due to lack of the required concentration in school. Sex is for mature people meaning that children have no right to practice sex until they attain their maturity stage. At that time, they plan for their lives and are in a position to protect them from contacting terminality diseases such as HIV/Aids among others (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).


Some television programs turn children into deviants for instance channels that advocates for deviance activities such as stealing. Deviance is the manner through which individuals’ acts against the societal norms meaning that Media can also result into deviance among children.

For instance, media can highlight sex as an important activity in people’s lives by arguing that sex results to health. In conjunction to this, a child indulges in sexual behavior with the aim of attaining health as presented in the television. By so doing the child will be deviating from the norms of the society by ignoring the sinful part of sex (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).


Television is the commonly used media in the modern society meaning that many people use it to pass or receive information. The message and pictures in televisions are in form of signals meaning that people all over the world receive the same message or pictures at the same time.

This implicates high speed of modern media particularly the television. Some news may bring about discouragement to the child or children for instance, if the news reports the alarming increase in unemployment levels more-so up on the graduates, the child’s dream would have been cut-off.

For instance if the child wanted to become a doctor in future and came to realize that through the television news, many students who have studied medicine are unemployed the child may decide either to forgo his or her dream and terminate school because learning will be of no use in future life. Others realize that only children from loyal families go to better secondary school since children from poor families end-up studying in local schools and chances of joining a good college are minima (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).

Health problem

Watching of television for long periods may interfere with development of the area of a brain that is responsible for organizing, planning and ordering behavior for attention, self-control and judgment in children (Anderson, Huston, Linebarger & Wright, 2001). The part of the brain altered by watching of television for long periods is the pre-frontal cortex.

Watching television for quite long periods can also lead to attention disorder in child development. In addition to this, that part of the brain that is responsible for development of language in a child is interfered by prolonged watching of television and thus why children who watch television for long have difficulties in listening and paying attention when it come to comprehend language (Anderson, Huston, Linebarger & Wright, 2001).


Newspapers just like the television plays critical role in entertaining, educating and socializing of the child. Newspapers are entertaining in that they highlight humorous incidences that make people happy and have animal chapters that cover the most interesting animals and their means of survival such at the cheater, kangaroo, and lions among others.

Stories on animals, for instance, why a certain animal appears the way it is on the earth and why some animals lack horns among others attract the attention of children very much. Such stories will act as center of entertainment to the child hence impact his or her development positively.

Educating comes in line with entertainment meaning that as the child read the story on animals he or she will learn more about animals as well as enjoying the story (Anderson, Huston, Linebarger & Wright, 2001).

Negative effects of the use of Newspapers as a media


Reading of newspapers is addictive to some extend and that is why many children used to reading newspapers find it difficult to quit the behavior. Such addiction may result to negative impacts on the child development for instance; the reading of the newspaper interrupts the part of brain that is responsible for listening and attention. The development of this part encourages reading of newspapers hence influencing child development in totality (Anderson, Huston, Linebarger & Wright, 2001).


In ancient times, the use of radio as media was common in many parts of the world. In conjunction to this, the emergent of television has taken a large portion in the urban areas whereby signals are readily available (Singer, 2001). Nowadays, the advancement in technology has led to the introduction of computers that are incorporated with radios.

This is to mean that a person can use a computer to listen to radio news and access television news. These features have made computers a multimedia device that is widely used in places such as in offices, working places and in learning institutions. The current curriculum has incorporated the use of computers in teaching or learning process (Singer, 2001).

Effects of computers/internet/radios on child development

The positive uses of computers/ internet/ radios as media on child development include entertainment, educative, socializing among others. Through interaction with computer, child can access music and video clips that are more entertaining meaning that internet is a useful source of entertainment.

Sport sites in computers have become centers for many children who are lovers or soccer fans. It is a kind of recreation source liked by many people both young and adult. Based on the issue of child development, many children are able to realize their talents through interact with various sport centers and others forms of entertainment (Singer, 2001).


The information got through internet plays important role in educating different categories of people that include the young and adult. Computers or internet contributes to the development of that part of the brain responsible for organizing and planning of individual behavior.

The video clips and music contained in computers are of much important in child development because they carry with them an aspect of education meaning that a child learns much from interacting with the internet (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).


Internet as a form of media provide child with an opportunity to interact with wide community for instance, the social sites such as Twitter, Yahoo, Google and Facebook whereby child can chat with others online. The online chats bring people from different destinations together and through this child can learn more from interacting with other children (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).

Negative effects

Internet provides a child with avenues through which he or she can access prohibited sites such as phonographic sites. These are illegal sites because they expose child into evil world at early age. When child become addicted in phonographic sites on internet, he or she looses the attention deemed necessary in school.

Listening of music and video from the internet has negative effects on the child development because it molds the behavior of the child. Through research carried by many specialized in California, it is evident that children who interact with internet for long periods have difficulties in attention and listening when it comes to comprehend language. Such children learn dirty language that offensive and discouraged by the public (Calvert & Wilson, 2011).


The study interests in that it explores the concept of media as it applies to the child development. As mentioned within the context of the study different forms of media are influential to child development. For instance, prolonged watching of television hinders the development of pre-frontal cortex, which is an important part of the brain responsible for organizing, planning and sequencing behavior in child development.

All forms of media discussed in the study have common roles, for instance, they bring about entertainment, education and socialization. The only difference is their negative impacts on child development. Parents should ensure that children spend less time watching television since this affects their concentration leading to difficulties of attentiveness and listening to comprehended language.


Anderson, D.R., Huston, A.C., Linebarger, K.l. & Wright, J.C. (2001). Early childhood television viewing and adolescent behavior: Monographs of the society for research in child development. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Calvert, S.L & Wilson, B.J. (2011).The handbook of children, media, and development. New Jersey, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

CardWell, S. (2000). Studying media. London: Crimson Publishing.

Singer, D.G. & Singer, J.L. (2001). Handbook of children and the media. London: SAGE.

Van Evra, J.P. (2004). Television and child development. New York, NY: Routledge.

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"Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development." IvyPanda, 22 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/effects-of-tv-and-other-medias-on-child-development/.

1. IvyPanda. "Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development." March 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/effects-of-tv-and-other-medias-on-child-development/.


IvyPanda. "Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development." March 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/effects-of-tv-and-other-medias-on-child-development/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development." March 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/effects-of-tv-and-other-medias-on-child-development/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Effects of TV and Other Medias on Child Development'. 22 March.

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