So you finally decided to go ahead and shop online for a new television set for your household. Your husband’s been bugging you about the old one for so long, and your kids have long complained about television shows that their classmates have all been talking about, shows that they couldn’t relate to because you didn’t buy that television set yet.
And so, to be rid of all their bugging and complaining, you created this on an online shopping platform, and, with the help of all those coupon codes on products, you managed to get one without the unwanted hassle of one that’s too expensive. And yet, despite the relief of finally getting one for your family, you still have to figure a few things out, such as identifying which shows are actually good for your children. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
Questions to Ask in Choosing TV Shows for Children
- Does the program encourage children to ask questions, to use their imaginations, or to be active or creative?
Television watching doesn’t have to be passive. It can prompt questions, kindle curiosity, or teach activities to pursue when the set is off.
- How does this program represent gender and diversity?
Young children believe that television reflects the real world. To not see people like themselves—in race, ethnicity, or physical ability, for example—may diminish their self-worth, and not seeing people different from themselves may lead to a distorted view of the world as well. Beyond the simple presence or absence of diversity, it’s important to look at how different people are portrayed.
- How commercialized is this program?
Some children’s programs are designed to act as extended commercials for related merchandise. While this is often true from the outset, in other cases the merchandising may not appear until the show is successful – which can lead to a situation where the “tail wags the dog” as the marketing becomes more important than the program itself, and hurt the quality of the show.
In the end, the questions you ask yourself, their respective answers, and the action that you take in response to the answers will help shape the TV viewing of your children.