High levels of violence in cartoons such as Scooby-Doo, Ben.10, Chotta Bheem and all other super heroes cartoons can make children more aggressive, researchers claimed. In the study, by academics at Iowa State University and published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. The research further stated that children copied at school the verbal aggression they had seen on cartoons. Researcher found that children copied and identified with cartoon characters just as much as they would with screen actors. The output aimed at children as young as seven, which included a number of cartoons, had the highest levels of violence.’ The study concluded that there are higher levels of physical aggression in children’s programmes than in programmes for general audiences,’
Now a day in our daily life children are becoming aggressive and violent. Children from the very early age viewing cartoons which are giving lessons of brutality. Have parents ever had a look at what their children are watching in cartoon? Here are some of the views expressed by the parents of enthusiastic cartoon kids.
“The media, specifically television cartoons for children have been increasingly showing more and more violent programmes, and making children aggressive day by day,.” Said javeria a mother of five year old kid who is addicted to such violent cartoon. She further said. Children should not know about murder and rape. But there is a cartoon South Park where rape, delivery period and similar topics being shown which is very bad for the children. If we watch cartoon regular then we find that most of the cartoon are based on fighting, boxing, killing by gun, attack by car, jumping from the roof etc. Now most of the cartoons revolve around a hero and a villain. Children after watching the cartoon want to be a cartoon hero in real life and in the process often indulge in bad behavior”.
Sara a working mother lamented “I can’t concentrate on my work, my minds is always with my children at home, who after coming from school start watching these heroic cartoon and then practice violent act at home.” She further stated that normally children do not understand that in television cartoon everything can happen but in real life it is not possible. So they often engage in dysfunctional behavior”.
“Faisal, a father of three children said that, Children have become much more interested in cartoons over many years and it has become a primary action to some lives. Typically, children begin watching cartoons on television at an early age of six months, and by the age two or three children become enthusiastic viewers. He further lamented that parents are equally responsible for molding the children in such a way, but sometimes we feel helpless in front of our busy schedule and allow children to sit in front of these violent cartoons and then they get addicted”.
A consultant physician in a private hospital, Dr Shahid, stated that “aggressive behavior in children has become a problem because children are watching too much television and the shows that they are watching (even if they are cartoons) have become violent and addictive”. He further stated “The marketing of cartoons has become overpowering globally and so has the subliminal messaging. The marketing is targeted toward the children to cause them to view the cartoons on a regular basis, but the subliminal messaging is for the adults’ to target them into enjoying the “cartoons”. This is unfortunate because children watch the cartoons on the television and they see material that is not appropriate for their age group. The Children who watch too much cartoons on television are more likely to have mental and emotional problems, along with brain and eye injuries and unexpectedly the risk of a physical problem increases”.
When children of different age groups were asked about the super heroes cartoons so most of the children were in favour of these violent cartoons. And called them a necessary part of their lives.
“I think it is great to believe in superheroes cartoons. They are part of our every child life. Dressing up in spider man costumes, concentrating on objects trying to make them fly. As well as harry potter movies – he’s a hero too. Taking away our superheroes is taking away half of our childhood” Said a six years old kid hanzala.
A super heroes cartoon addicted a six student said that “Superheroes are fake, they are made up of fictional characters but young viewer think they are real. And yes grown up, but addicted viewers of such cartoons like me, may know the difference. But after knowing all the facts also I still can’t stop watching them.”
Ahmed a seven years old kid stated his excitement about his superheroes cartoons as. “Superman, Ben. 10, Chotta Bheem and Spiderman are definitely superheroes for me and I love watching them, but Batman doesn’t have any powers. He is just a glorified detective. Cartoons are as much important for me as my studies because they keep me updated.”
Ibrahim., a eight years old claims that “I know these powerful cartoons character are just fake and not real but still we kids believe in them and perform their stunts with our sibling and friends and that thing is real fun”.
I am 12 years old all I see on Batman, Superman, Spider man and other heroic cartoons, is fighting, impossible actions. This convinced me as possible that i can shoot a web out of my wrist or left a sky scraper with one finger but it’s not, when I tried it. This ends up making me believe that it is physically impossible to do these actions in real.” said Mustafa, an enthusiastic viewer.
“There is two sides in everything, cartoons are made for great purpose for entertainment and sometimes teach us great things about justice” Stated a six years old kid. He further stated.” That new version of superheroes is simply fabulous and that’s why, the idea about violent cartoons is increasing each day. These cartoons give me the strength to fight with my friends and give me courage of survival in school.”
With the changing family structure in which both parents are working and they have little time for children. In this way it is really hard to monitor each and every activity of children. The best thing parents can do is to set the children timing of watching cartoons. Table talk is the best way of keeping the children out from this fake world. Now it’s not possible to control the increasing violence shown by cartoon network, pogo, nick and other channels that are made to provide entertainment for children. The increasing globalization is contributing much in spreading the hidden messages in children programs. But it’s the duty of the parents to socializes their children in such a way that they should believe in real heroes and real world.