Free Essay

Television as a Babysitter

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jthomas5
Words 1511
Pages 7
The Impact of Caregivers Using Television as a Babysitter

Composition and Communication II Comm/156
August 19, 2012

The Impact of Caregivers Using Television as a Babysitter

Caregivers using television as a babysitter adversely impacts the growth and development, physical fitness, and social life of children. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) stated, on average a child in America watches three to four hours of television a day (AACAP, 2011). This happens in most households because caregivers tend to have children watch television to be occupied. The problem with this is children are not getting the interaction with others that is needed to advance their social skills. Watching television and not going outside to play takes away the ability to get in the required exercise that is needed, therefore, leading to childhood obesity. Working, busy, or unconsciously aware caregivers are letting children sit in front of the television hours upon hours to entertain themselves. Whether caregivers are using television as a babysitter so they can do other things, to take a break from entertaining children themselves, or as a learning tool; television should be watched in moderation because it impacts the growth and development in children. The first two years of brain development are the most important. This time period is when children are learning to talk and play. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) prefers interactive play for children two and under to learn from and discourages television viewing completely. For older children, the website of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and recommends viewing time to be “no more than one to two hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs, which should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults in the home” (, 2012). With Internet, smart phones, and radio, available, television is one of the most influential mediums used today. Supervision is the key to getting the most positive influences from television. Television is a good form of entertainment and can be used for positive influences. For example, pre-school age children to learn about sharing, good manners and the alphabet. Grade school children could see and learn things about nature they otherwise couldn’t see, such as animals in Africa or the rain forest. Using documentaries for high school children to see political views from the past or learning about global issues would be beneficial as well. Television also introduces positive role models to follow. There is a wide variety of educational and entertaining things on television. The problem with television is it is so influential among children and can have negative effects on children as well. Children learn by seeing what others are doing on television and then imitating what they see in real life situations. Things children see on television affect the person they are to become as they get older; including their values and behavior. Children who watch violent cartoons more on a regular basis behave aggressively. (Hattemer, 1994). Some children may have difficulty comprehending the difference between fiction and reality. The website of states that “Television teaches children the wrong things about violence. Adults know that real violence causes pain and sadness. But TV violence is often painless and sometimes funny” (, 2012). Seeing a cartoon with their favorite hero fighting and making it seem acceptable and with no consequences encourages a child to fight and have no consequences for the wrong behavior. A child needs to learn the skills that allow them to socially interact with others in an acceptable manner, such as sharing, taking turns and helping. Using television as a babysitter with unsupervised programming, pass the recommended viewing hours will cause physical and social life issues. Numerous studies have shown that not getting enough exercise because children are sitting in front of a television can cause a child to become obese, have bad sleeping habits, and produce lower grades in school. Extended hours of viewing television will not give the children the time to get in the recommended amount of daily exercise to obtain a healthy weight. During the viewing of extended hours of television children are subjected to an alarming amount of commercials promoting unhealthy eating habits with sugary and unhealthy food. According to Chemin (2009) “Commercials for candy, snacks and fast food account for more than half of all food ads targeted to children and teenagers, and commercials for fruits and vegetables are virtually nonexistent ” (p. 30). Sitting children in front of the television with an unhealthy snack can add to the obesity factor as well. Caregivers need to encourage and implement good eating and television habits. Caregivers are the most important role models in the lives of their children. Various studies show those caregivers more active and doing outdoor activities children are close to follow in their footsteps and become more active outdoors. There are a large amount of alternatives for caregivers to encourage children to do besides watch television all the time. Limiting the viewing hours would give children the opportunity to read more which will help to produce better grades. Encourage children to go and play games outside, pick up a sport or hobby. If playing video games is what is acceptable as a reward, encourage exercise and fitness induced games on a limited schedule. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and should be implemented whenever possible. Play some board games with them instead of sitting and watching television is a better idea. When children are watching television, provide access to age appropriate educational programs. There is a device that can be used to help control the negative material content on televisions. It is called the V-chip; the website of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) describes the V-chip as an installed feature that is equipped in televisions since July 1999, in models of thirteen inches or bigger (Federal Communications Commission, 2000). The V-chip reads an electronic code transmitted with television signals and is used with the current television rating systems. Caregivers can enter a password by remote which programs the television to which ratings are acceptable for children to view. The chip will block the display of unacceptable programming. The usage of the V-chip can be optional for caregivers to use (Figliola, 2005). The V-chip is a good feature to use for younger and older children. Take the time to discuss family values with children when inappropriate material is viewed on television. This will ensure complete understanding of right from wrong and real and fake. Another good idea for caregivers to utilize is to view programs before the children do. With the current technology of DVRs, prerecord some educational, developmentally programs for children to view. If access to a DVR is unobtainable DVDs are a good choice as well. Furthermore, treating television like a privilege can in return promote good behavior. Staying connected with the types of programming, the current program ratings and monitoring the viewing time, will ensure television will provide a positive influence and not be used as a babysitter. It is easy to let television babysit your child for hours because we live in such a busy society, but it is proven to be unhealthy. Children’s social lives are so greatly influenced by the programs seen on television, whether it be good or bad. The website of states “By watching 3 to 4 hours of non-educational TV per day, children will have seen about 8,000 murders on TV by the time they finish elementary school” (2012, p. 2)! The impact of television on a child’s growth and development is so astounding; taking the precautionary steps to avoid the negative effects is absolutely needed. By letting children view educational programs, limiting viewing times and staying informed on what programs are watched, television can be used as a positive influence instead of a negative one.


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2011). Children and watching TV. Retrieved from
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2012). Where we stand: TV viewing time. Retrieved from
Chemin, A. (2009, July/August). Television Viewing and Childhood Overweight: Evidence and Explanations. Pediatrics for Parents, 25(7/8), 29-31
Federal Communications Commission. (2000). Retrieved from
Figliola, P. (2005). V-Chip and TV Ratings: Monitoring Children's Access to TV Programming: RL32729. Congressional Research Service: Report, 1-14. Retrieved from
Hattemer, B. (1994, July). Cause and violent effect. World & I, 9(7). (2012). Pulling the plug on TV violence. Retrieved from

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Psychoanalytic Objectification of Women in Robert Coover's "The Babysitter"

...Jonathan Hoyer LIT 369: Short Fiction/Honors Dr. Quan Ha 4/9/13 Psychoanalytic Objectification of Women – When Women Literally Become Objects (Revised) The story “The Babysitter” is fraught with sexual language, addressing sexual behavior directly and nonchalantly in discussing characters’ interactions with non-sexual objects. Psychoanalysis relies on the Oedipus Complex; the assumption that male behavior is a result of a deep-seeded unconscious “castration anxiety,” whereupon a young boy loves his mother and wants to have sex with her and competes with the father, resulting in an unconscious fear that his father will castrate him. In adulthood, a male “fetishizes female beauty as a way of defending against the anxiety brought about by the spectacle of woman as representing ‘lack’ or castration” (Gabbard, 161). This fetishizing female beauty, or in other words, objectifying women, is a defense mechanism against castration anxiety. Psychoanalysis offers multiple explanations for the objectification of women. Objectification is also considered to be a result of the disturbance of the relationship between mother and baby. Objectification is a compensation for the loss of “the blissful relationship with a mother who has no autonomy or otherness but exists only to serve the baby’s needs” (Gabbard 166). Objectification, then, is a result of the male trying to recreate this perfect maternal symbiosis in which the mother serves the baby’s needs, and is essentially used as......

Words: 2418 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Effects Of Television Essay

...The harm of Television How many hours do you think a child should watch T.V.? if you say 2 hours or more you're completely wrong. The problem is that parents use the T.V. as their own personal babysitter for the child. And although television can be fun to watch especially in this day and time but it can also be harmful to children. In other words when children are watching television they can start to learn and see provocative things, they can can start to become lazy,and develop bad behavior. Children watching to much television can cause them to become lazy which can cause many health issues. When I mention health issues children can develop high blood pressure and obesity. As stated in this article “just two hours of T.V. a day doubles risk of child obesity”,...

Words: 889 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Cold War and Media Review

...the Catholic church, and the patriarchal order. This conservative bent exemplifies how the dominant values represent a return to the conservative values of the past. By advocating conservative values, pop culture retreated from the more anarchistic dominant genres of the 1940s, the film noir and the family melodrama: two genres that explored the breakdown of the patriarchal order. In lieu of the noir and melodrama, pop culture, especially television, “offered a bland menu of quiz shows and westerns during the late 1950s, [in which] McCarthy-era anxieties clearly played a role” (84). Not only was the Communist threat presented as a threat to the American dream, but the way in which it was presented represents the antithesis of the stability of the American dream: Communists are framed as dangerous because they are passable as ordinary people and moreover, because they control the systems of technology: science, mass transportation, and mass media. Thus, in order to overthrow the Communist threat, films such as Red Planet Mars (1952) and television shows such as “I Led 3 Lives” filter the American anti-Communist effort through the defeat of Communist-controlled technology and the restoration of the conservative American Dream. Both Red Planet Mars and “I Led 3 Lives” portray the Communist threat as threatening the status quo of the American dream, stable domesticity, and the patriarchal order. Indeed, the opening of “I Led 3 Lives” exemplifies the Communist threat to Americana.......

Words: 1634 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Media Influence Our Society

...Media plays a significant role in our society today. It is all around us, from the shows we watch on television, the music we listen to on the radio, to the books and magazines we read each day. Television more so that any of the other medias achieves a myriad of different goals. These goals range from entertaining to educating. Various confines of education and entertainment are depicted in television. For the most part the television is found to be very entertaining. People watch television shows they enjoy and find entertaining. Television is often looked at as a babysitter for children. The viewing of television can entertain the young and old alike for great amounts of time. Along with entertaining, the media is used to inform society. Days are often started by the listening of the news on the morning television, judging the latest updates on the local traffic jams. Days are often concluded with the watching of the late night news on television, keeping us informed of the world and the events occurring around us. Steven Stark, author of Glued to the Set has been quoted as saying, "the local newscast has replaced the network news and the newspaper alike as the average American's main source of news." (390) In addition to informing the television is used to spread a message or to campaign. Political candidates on all levels use this medium to inform the public of their views and hopefully to convince the public to elect them. James B. Twitchwill author of Adcult......

Words: 327 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Various forms of entertainment media has shaped American culture and its values in countless ways. The television, radio and now internet has made both positive and negative impacts on American culture. Many families across the country gather to watch reality television and in reality are letting their own lives pass them by. The television is America’s number one babysitter. Children and adults across the U.S. are greatly influenced from the clothes they wear to the hobbies and jobs they pursue. Hip Hop music and reality television has provided a false sense of reality through tainted experiences. Young adults become fascinated with the style of clothes and kind of cars celebrity have. It magnifies the specific demographics social and interactive relationships related to the hip hop culture. Mainly families across the country gather too watch reality television and try to mimic the lives of those on television. Many American’s sit their child in front of the television while they cook, clean and etc. Tons of information is communicate through media. Entertainment media has become a major player in American life. IPods, touchscreen telephones, IPads and various other electronics. Many family’s years ago used to entertain themselves by gathering and playing board games. The entertainment media has both positive and negative influences on people socially. The positive influence would be for one, how it can inspire people to better themselves. To become more like those they see......

Words: 263 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Dirt Mud and Bugs, watching television, chatting online, or talking on the phone. Even though technology is useful and the use of electronics is crucial in society, children should play outside more than inside because of the many health benefits. Children who tend to play outside more have less health and development issues. Over the last two decades childhood obesity rates have more than double (National Wildlife Federation, 2011). Children tune out and stress out because they are missing a connection to the natural world. Parents are afraid their children will be abducted by strangers, which is one of the main reasons that children do not play outdoors unattended. Strangers exist in every town and city in the world, anytime someone acts out by abducting or harming a child, the result is tragic. Statistics show the sad and frightening story that children are more at risk from people they know. Busy schedules of parents do not permit supervised outdoor play; however, parental responsibility includes managing time to watch or play with his or her children when needed. Parents have the responsibility to limit their children to the amount of time allowed using electronics, and encouraging them to enjoy activities that connect them with nature. Doing so will help the child use his or her imagination in the real world, instead of playing in a virtual world. Many health benefits occur when a child plays outdoors more often than staying inside watching television or playing......

Words: 1393 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Db4 English 2

...ENGL107-1204A-14 English Composition II Discussion Board 4 Is Television a Bad Influence on Children? The television has become such an integral part of homes in the modern world that it is hard to imagine life without television. In today’s world, it takes no effort to get a child’s attention. From food products to virtual entertainment; from toys to clothing, all ages of children are susceptible. Children love to watch TV and prefer to stay “glued” to the TV screen all day, rather than playing outside. Is it true that children consider television to be significant in their daily lives? “Television has become a "member" of almost every single family on our planet. And not just an ordinary member, but a very important one, because the time spent next to it exceeds the amount of time spent together with any other family member”. (Watterman, Alex 2010.) Some people can argue that children should be allowed to watch a lot of television because it is educational. However, I believe television has a 50/50 effect on children. Well what do you mean? What can prove otherwise that makes you believe that chidren are effect in good and bad ways? Children learn through the action of others that they can gain what they want through being stronger and treating other people like they are inferior. Statistics have proved that the growth of time spent next to the TV-set scales up the development of aggression (Watterman, Alex. 2010.). However, with the increased rate of working......

Words: 363 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Influence of Visual Media

...Influence of Visual Media Radio was the popular media until television became the leader in mass media. Television reached out to people in a visual and auditory sense. The influence of this visual entertainment coupled with major motion pictures shaped and influenced American culture in ways that are negative as well as positive. The positive aspects range from instantaneous world news coverage such as weather events to political wars. Sporting events or learning how to prepare a favorite meal is available through a television in a person’s home. Major motion pictures “the movies” brought big screen entertainment to people where they were able to escape reality of their own lives and get lost in the plot of a story shown on the big screen. Some of the television shows and the motion pictures have mirrored real life activities and at other times are fictitious or a combination of both. There is ample proof in society that media is responsible for generating negative feelings among its viewers. Children are especially vulnerable to the negative influence of violence or viewing alcohol use, and abuse in films. When people frequently view death, sex, rape, suicide, and murder, it is a negative influence, because there are images etched in their subconscious that can never be unviewed. The television shows cost money to produce and air time has to be bought to show the program on television. Commercials are sold in order to pay for the cost of the shows. The......

Words: 423 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Television Boon or Bane be, than our very own Television? Over the years, the popularity of television has grown to such an extent that today, at least one Television set can be found in almost every home in the world. Its the menace that everyone loves to hate but can't seem to live without. Nowadays, there are hundreds of television channels. For those who are ill or housebound, television provides them with a company while they are alone, whereas others just enjoy the entertainment factor. Entertainment in the home can be very challenging for the most loving families; therefore television can be a good thing as it can provide parents with a "babysitter"! For those older folk who can no longer cope with going out for shopping, TV is the answer! Not to forget the teens who simply can't seem to have enough of Hannah Montana or the lovely middle-aged ladies who love watching their favorite series of either 'Desperate Housewives' or 'Sex and The City'! Though, actually going to a concert has a better atmosphere than just watching it on television, some people praise this as it is much cheaper than buying a ticket to go to the venue itself. TV has brought the education at viewers' door-steps. It has encouraged formal and open education in a big way. Well, those were just the 'WOW' factors of Television. However, its not all good! For instance, while I was in middle-school, I had this unforgettable poem on a couple who was highly addicted to TV. They watched Television for days and nights......

Words: 601 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Tv; Boon or Bane

...Over the years, the popularity of television has grown to such an extent that today, at least one Television set can be found in almost every home in the world. Its the menace that everyone loves to hate but can't seem to live without. Nowadays, there are hundreds of television channels. For those who are ill or housebound, television provides them with a company while they are alone, whereas others just enjoy the entertainment factor. Entertainment in the home can be very challenging for the most loving families; therefore television can be a good thing as it can provide parents with a "babysitter"! For those older folk who can no longer cope with going out for shopping, TV is the answer! Not to forget the teens who simply can't seem to have enough of Hannah Montana or the lovely middle-aged ladies who love watching their favorite series of either 'Desperate Housewives' or 'Sex and The City'! Though, actually going to a concert has a better atmosphere than just watching it on television, some people praise this as it is much cheaper than buying a ticket to go to the venue itself. TV has brought the education at viewers' door-steps. It has encouraged formal and open education in a big way. Well, those were just the 'WOW' factors of Television. However, its not all good! For instance, while I was in middle-school, I had this unforgettable poem on a couple who was highly addicted to TV. They watched Television for days and nights together; never did they make a single......

Words: 767 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Parenting in the Age of Modern Technology Families today live in a world saturated by media and technology. The average American child has 3.5 televisions, 3.3 radios, 2.9 VCR/DVD players, 2.1 video game consoles, 1.5 computers, and 3.6 CD or tape players in their home (Pigeron, 2009, p. 1). 84% of children ages 7-17 use the internet in their homes, and 57% have their own cell phones (Kennedy, Smith, Wells, & Wellman, 2008). Media has become intricately woven into the daily lives of families – it acts as a babysitter and teacher, a mediator, entertainer and everyday companion, but perhaps most significantly, it acts as a facilitator of daily family routines, transitions, and interactions. The ubiquity of new technology is quickly changing the means by which families interact with each other to create systems of shared meanings and experiences. Families are adapting to this influx of modern technology and media into their homes by developing new rules and systems of monitoring and regulation. The influence of media on the family life of a second-grade girl, Reagan, and her parents was examined in regards to these changes. In particular, two questions were asked: How do parents perceive and make decisions regarding their children’s use of technology, and how do new forms of technology alter family roles and relationships, particularly those between parent and child? Reagan is the only child of two, married, professional parents. Her media use is typical for......

Words: 3981 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Is the Popular Korean Animation Character Pororo Really an Educational Friend?

...19th June, 2012 Final Research Essay Is the Popular Korean Animation Character Pororo Really an Educational Friend? In South Korea, there is an ongoing Pororo boom among children. ‘Porong Porong Pororo’ is an original Korean animation series that is about the adventures of Pororo and his friends in the North Pole (Appendix 1). People call this penguin character as ‘Potongreung’ which means ‘President Pororo’ in Korean, as it is like the president among children. As this nickname represents, kids love this animation so much but this popularity is a huge problem because it has gotten to the point where no one questions its educational values. Currently as of June 19th, not a single article was found exposing about the negative aspects of Pororo. Mothers turn on Pororo for their kids, in the hope that it will have educational benefits. However, contrary to many mothers’ belief, Pororo can have some negative effects on children’s education in terms of intellectual, physical/social, and emotional development. First of all, Pororo can have a negative effect on a child’s intellectual development. Watching TV affects children’s brain activity to become passive towards learning. Studies show that watching TV reduces alpha waves, which is associated with relaxed meditative states. This creates “mind fog” state which means people feel it’s harder to concentrate and stay focused, like daydreaming (Carmichael). Thus if children watch the Pororo animation for a long time, their mind will......

Words: 1820 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

How Tv Affects Your Child

...How TV Affects Your Child Television watching is becoming more prominent in America culture. Children are being plugged into the television at younger and younger ages. Each day after school, thousands of kids sit in front of their T.V. sets at their homes and kill their precious time watching T.V. programs when they should be active or doing homework, etc. Parents will want to get work done and the television is a very convenient “babysitter.” Parents do not have to pay the television to keep their children pre-occupied. However, too much television can be detrimental and I believe television viewing should be used in moderation or as a privilege. There are many reasons why parents should limit screen time for their children. One important reason is that watching a lot of television can lead to childhood obesity. Part of the problem is that the child is not moving when watching. When children spend their free time lying around watching TV, they don't get the exercise they need. It's hard to exercise in front of the TV set. The other part is all the food commercials aimed at kids. TV commercials advertise candy, soda, and sugary cereals, encouraging children to eat high-calorie junk food. Even if they don't get the food on the commercial, it will probably lead them to the kitchen, looking for a snack. Often, children eat junk food while watching TV and are unaware of how much they're overeating. Down the long run, childhood obesity can lead to numerous health......

Words: 658 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

6 Year Olds

... computers and video games on young children in their development but some parents just don't get it and use these things as a babysitter like if the child is crying or showing frustration and instead of helping the child get through this by talking to them, directing then to a more positive activity they just say go play a video game or watch TV. TV's and video games do deprive the child of their sensory experience but, when the child plays outside in the real world they use all their sensory skills like seeing, hearing and touching. When they also play and interact with other kids they develop a sense of balance, co-ordination, general and fine motor skills as well as physical fitness and all these are all so important for short, long term and mental health. When children watch video games the voices and people represented in these video do not behave or react like real human beings and in response to the child this disassociates elements that in a human being are whole and all associated together. Children with repeated exposure to any form of media can lead to a distancing of themselves from real people in real life situation and lead to their lack of compassion, and more aggressive behavior. How do we avoid exposing young children and babies to the media which became so much of our modern life? Regardless of the content of television...

Words: 430 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Teens and the Internet

...sometimes lead to violence. For some, socializing via the internet provides an escape from being bored. For teens, social networking sites are the best way to communicate in today’s busy lifestyle. For those that don’t yet have their driving license, it is the best way to keep in contact with friends without actually meeting face to face. If teens have an active life and the internet use does not replace school, sports and regular social outings, it is okay. The internet is a great tool in education. If used wisely its resources are invaluable. But, like anything else it needs to be monitored by parents to make sure this tool is used the right way to prevent children from becoming preyed upon and to prevent this tool like television from becoming an electronic...

Words: 259 - Pages: 2