7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Serious Limited in Watching Cartoons

According to statistics, children from 2 to 5 years old watch cartoons for more than 4 and a half hours every day and spend exactly 4 hours on this lesson for children aged 6 to 11 years. At the same time, 70% of them have their own TV in their room. And more than half of all parents never check what the child is watching, for one simple reason: it is much easier to leave the baby in front of the TV or tablet and relax a bit than to control it.

We at Happy Worthy Life have figured out what consequences the lack of control over television content can lead to and how it can affect young viewers. At the end of the article, we prepared a small bonus: adults talked about the unexpected meanings of children’s cartoons, which they revised.

1. Children under 3 years old cannot watch TV

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Masha and the Bear / Animaccord © Smeshariki / Animation studio “Petersburg”

Until about the age of 3, a child is arranged in such a way that, in principle, he does not care what to look at. If you turn on cartoons, he will watch them. If you show him a show about animals, he will watch it. Content at this age is not important at all – it is important that something flickers on the screen and happens.

If a child of this age watches TV too often, he may become addicted. He will need something to flicker on the screen. Without a dynamic picture, he will not be able to do any business. This is one of the reasons why children under 3 years old are not recommended to watch cartoons, programs, videos, etc.

2. The child constantly wants to imitate someone. Better – the same age

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Well, wait a minute! / Soyuzmultfilm

The child’s brain is constantly looking for something new – that’s why children are literally stuck in cartoons. A well-written script, suitable soundtracks, beautiful visual effects – all this contributes to the fact that the child begins to identify with any of the characters in the cartoon. Subconsciously or consciously, he imitates the character: acts the way he talks, gestures, and even dresses.

  • Recently, we discussed with the company our past. Someone from dad learned to tinker, someone chose a girl as in some kind of comic, the third since childhood, after watching Star Wars, had a dream of becoming an astronaut. And then the turn came to me. To begin with, I grew up in the USSR. And there was one film that left an indelible imprint on my children’s psyche – the immortal “Guest from the Future”. After this film, I realized one thing: I like smart girls. They may not be the most popular and beautiful, but if they are just cute and smart at the same time, then I will like them. And after “Chip and Dale Rescue”, the image of Gadget (techie girl) as an example of an ideal companion firmly stuck in my brain and sat there until the very end. © d0nate110 / Pikabu
  • My child grew up on high-quality full-length animated films Pixar and Disney, but for some time now a niece began to live with us, who constantly watches Masha and the Bear. Even my son noticed that she behaves like this Masha: almost what’s wrong – her lips are blowing or fighting. I live in this cartoon: I feel like a Bear and come up with new punishments. This girl either does not close her mouth, then she hangs herself on her leg, then sends adults. And she is only 3 years old. © maylin / Pikabu
  • Recently he witnessed a conversation between his children. Two daughters, 5 and 7 years old. The eldest says to the younger: “You would take a book to read.” To which the younger answers her: “Hmm … read? Suddenly I’m smarter, but the men don’t like these. ” My wife and I, of course, laughed, and then I asked my daughter: “Where did you get such thoughts?” The child replied to me that the princess from the cartoon “Ivan Tsarevich and the Gray Wolf” said that she was very smart and her daughter liked her. © TEESTO / Pikabu

3. Many cartoons marked “for the whole family” are actually released for adults

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber / Studio “Mill” © Shrek 2 / DreamWorks Animation SKG  

Now a huge number of cartoons with the mark “for the whole family” are being released. The reason is clear: this is how the target audience of the product increases. However, in such cartoons too often really adult jokes flash and boiling passions of children. The child does not understand this, but subconsciously adopts such a model of behavior. Therefore, it makes sense to preview the cartoons before deciding whether to show them to your children.

Watching Smesharikov. They saw a savage in the forest. Further dialogue:

4. Dynamic cartoons with a quick frame change for a child can only do much harm

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Ultimate Spider-Man / Disney XD   © Sesame Street / Sesame Workshop  

Some modern cartoons, such as Spider-Man, Ben-10, etc., are characterized by a very fast change of episodes. Because of this, the child is not even able to remember the plot, not to mention retelling it. Such content is completely uninformative, and therefore not recommended for viewing.

In 2011, a reputable medical journal published an article entitled “Effects of Fast Cartoons,” in which he talked about one experiment. Specialists wanted to understand how “fast” cartoons affect the memory and concentration of attention of young viewers.

60 children were divided into 3 groups. The 1st group watched Bob Sponge, the 2nd group painted with pencils, and the 3rd group enjoyed the educational cartoon series Caillou. After 9 minutes, the children were asked to take some simple tests. It turned out that those guys who watched “Sponge Bob”, attention and memory decreased significantly compared to the other two groups. At the same time, there was no difference between those who painted and those who watched the educational series. Scientists concluded that an unnaturally fast change of personnel is stress for the brain.

Moreover, some experts have suggested that because of this, a small viewer may show symptoms of ADHD.

  • My mom works in kindergarten. There, children are shown different cartoons. When children watch modern ones like “Masha and the Bear”, they sit in front of the screen with their mouths open, without taking their eyes off. But when at the end they are asked to retell what they just saw, no one can relate two words. With Soviet cartoons, the opposite is true: they can spin while watching, but at the end they give out a coherent story. © 110112dark / Pikabu

5. After each cartoon, it is better to ask the child what he learned. Otherwise, you may encounter unpredictable consequences.

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Finding Nemo / Pixar  

In many cartoons there are some undesirable actions (just remember “Tom and Jerry”: Tom is beaten with a club, his legs are pinched, etc.). When viewing a child, a cognitive dissonance arises: parents say that you can’t beat other people, but in a cartoon they do and the situation looks funny. It is possible that this will lead to the fact that the child wants to check in practice whether it is true to beat others or not to obey adults as funny as it looks on the screen.

Therefore, it makes sense to ask the child after watching the next series of the cartoon about what he learned. Firstly, this way you will help your baby develop analytical skills. And secondly, you will be able to adjust his conclusions if they turned out to be wrong.

  • My 4-year-old daughter watched the animated film “Santa Claus and the Gray Wolf.” Where “anxiety, anxiety, the wolf carried away the wolf.” As usual, I ask: “Julia, what did this cartoon teach you?” She thought and said: “You don’t have to wear a rabbit anywhere. Caught – eat on the spot. ” © umorist / Pikabu
  • Somehow my sister (she was 4 years old) watched the series “Lilo and Stitch”, where they ate all sorts of muck, and at the end they got fat. After that, I began to ask my sister questions about the plot, and as a result, she came to the idea that sweets should be eaten only after dinner and very little. She realized this herself and began to follow this rule. If either her parents or I had told her, she would have ignored it. That day, at dinner, she kept repeating a freshly learned mantra about healthy eating and forbade her grandmother from eating cookies. © Raffine / Pikabu
  • They sat with their daughter (4 years old) and watched the cartoon on TV. There a stranger gave a candy to a stranger aunt when she burst into tears at the store. And the girl demanded: “More!” – and her parents swore at her. Seeing the puzzled face of my child and remembering that morality in cartoons is better to explain, he asked: “Daughter, what exactly did the girl do wrong?” – She answered aunt very rudely. – And what should I say when they give you something? – Give me more, please? © Drontian / Pikabu
  • A familiar aquarist told. After the release of the animated film “Finding Nemo” in Moscow, at first they went up wildly, then they completely disappeared from the sale of fish that looked like the main character. It seems to be the laws of the market. But not really. Many customers came 2-3 times. It turns out that the kids released their pets. Yes, yes, as in a cartoon – right into the toilet. © Drugoon / Pikabu

6. In some cartoons include scenes “for adults” to influence the child on a subconscious level

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Sym-Bionic Titan / Cartoon Network Studios  

Above, you see a frame from the cartoon Sym-Bionic Titan. It is recommended for children from 8 years old, although a number of episodes contain “adult” scenes.

The human brain is designed in such a way that it really responds to those things that may not exist in reality. If you see a mouth-watering advertisement of any food, you may feel that you have “salivating”. This is the most obvious example.

When a child sees frank scenes in a cartoon, he may not understand their meaning, but his brain reacts to them, triggering certain chemical reactions. Because of this, children want to watch such cartoons again and again, but they are unlikely to be able to explain the reason for their desire. This can lead to the fact that the child is interested in the anatomy of the human body earlier than this would happen for natural reasons.

7. Many cartoons contain violent scenes that make viewers laugh

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Tom and Jerry / Metro Goldwyn Mayer  

It is believed that a child may experience two reactions to violent scenes:

  • He ceases to understand how such games can end, and therefore wants to test this by his own example and tries to crank out any of the scenes with his peers or parents.
  • The child is afraid and hesitant, because he intuitively understands that if in real life to pinch someone’s hands with a mousetrap, this will lead to a disastrous result, and not to an explosion of laughter, as shown in the cartoon. At such a moment, the baby needs parents who will confirm his fears and assure him that such actions in reality cannot be repeated.

In addition, it is assumed that the abundance of violent actions on the screen stimulates the production of adrenaline. The child becomes excitable, nervous and difficult to manage.

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Transformers: Cyberverse / Boulder Media Limited © Winnie the Pooh / Soyuzmultfilm

This was proved in practice by Russian psychologists. They took 40 children aged 6 to 7 years and for 9 days showed them cartoons: for the first 3 days the children watched good cartoons (“Winnie the Pooh”, “Little Raccoon”, “Hedgehog in the Fog”), the next 3 days – cartoons with moderate violence (“Tom and Jerry”, “Mickey Mouse”, “Well, wait a minute!”), the last 3 days – aggressive cartoons (“Godzilla”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Transformers”). The children watched them before and after a quiet hour, and then went for a walk. There was a psychologist on the walks who recorded how they behaved.

The results were predictable:

  • After aggressive cartoons, children often attacked their peers, often humiliated them and generally behaved more arrogant.
  • Moderately aggressive cartoons also provoked children into fights or showdowns, but to a lesser extent.
  • After watching the good series, attacks were also recorded, but in very small numbers.

During the experiment, another alarming conclusion was made: the images of negative heroes who fight and scandal are stored in the memory of children longer than the images of positive characters. Two weeks after the experience, these same guys were asked to draw cartoon characters, and most of them drew terminators and transformers.

Bonus: Rethinking Your Favorite Cartoons

7 Reasons Why Children Should Be Seriously Limited in Watching Cartoons
© Tangled / Walt Disney Animation Studios   © Aladdin / Walt Disney Pictures  
  • First “Shrek”, then “Rapunzel”, “Ballerina”, “Aladdin”. These are masterpieces from the first to the last frame, which could serve as an excellent backup for the education of girls aged 7-12 years. But it’s for them to better not watch this. Because of a simple little detail. Do you know what all of them have in common? Negative in fact, but positive in the plot the main character. Aladdin is a man singing in his throat that he is a thief and stealing normally. In fact, Eugene in Rapunzel is not shy. It is such a person who is recognized for the standard of a man worthy of the love of a princess. The fact that the cartoon image of a thief and an orphan with a real one has little in common, of course, is not reported. © Gotica / Pikabu
  • Maloy watches the “Little Mermaid” Disney. And here’s the fun part. Ariel seems to be the main kind character, but: she defiantly does not listen to her father, violates all the laws and prohibitions of the kingdom of mermaids, lies, tells Sebastian to lie (court accompanist, for a second), gets confused with the main antagonist, fulfilling all his requirements. All this leads to a total disagreement: all the main characters harness for this red-haired heroine, risk their lives, and King Triton gives up his soul and power, only to save her. And after that she still has a happy ending. © XerMorjovii / Pikabu

Do you control what your child is watching? Are there any cartoons that you forbid him to watch?

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