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Children and Television

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The best way to influence the life of a human being is by targeting one of his/her five senses. Sight is one of the most important influencers as it is direct and most memorable (Casey et al.). The impact that is drawn through watching is greater as one can be able to store whatever they have seen for a future reference through memory. Television is the most widely used device to emphasize the power of the sense of sight. This medium has been used to influence many lives in the world through television shows and programs.Children are the bulk of the population that are known to watch television much, especially in the western countries. Parents know that through seeing, their children can learn about different issues depending on the content. They are aware that if a child is subjected to watching violent behaviour, they can readily adopt such a way of life. For this reason, many parents, specifically American ones, tend to control what their children are watching on TV. An analysis of such television shows as The Cosby Show, Father and Daughter Ad and Blackish, reveals that the Western culture portrays children as incapable for making their own decisions as only adults navigate them through lives.

The Cosby Show

This show attempts to shed some light on children and television and how their parents perceive them to be. In the episode, the boy is trying to convince his parent that it was not that bad for him to score D’s at school. He did not want to be a doctor or a lawyer similarly to his parents. He just wanted to be a regular person earning $250 a week (Cosbyshow). The father understands that this would be tough for his son, but he decides to play a game with him. The aim of this venture is to make him to see why the child should work hard at school so as to get good grades: namely, secure oneself with a good job in the future that could support him for a lifetime. The boy is given a month’s salary of what he wanted to earn and then the father starts counting the expenses per month while subtracting the necessary amount of money back. In the end, too little money is left for the boy. After playing the game, the son understands the father’s standpoint, but he continues to explain to his father his position in order to demonstrate that he is different from his parent. However, the boy is shocked when his father tells him that such an idea is the dumbest he has ever heard (Cosbyshow). This situation portrays the issue about children and television through explicating the parents’ belief that the children cannot decide for themselves. The decisions and choices made by children are always immature, and so children should depend on adults in decision-making. The show emphasizes that parents are the ones who should make decisions for their children.

The show clearly approves the issue of children and television in terms of that parents control what children ought to watch. The parent acts as the decision-maker for the child in everything that the child does. From the program, the father gives his son a chance to choose what he wants, but at the end, he is trying to convince the boy that his decision cannot be successful. Finally, the decision of the child is invalid, while that of the father is the only acceptable.

From the show, the audience is able to understand the notable implication of contemporary culture. In particular, nowadays, children are entirely dependent on their parents in every step to be undertaken in life, including decision-making (Cosbyshow). The episode explains why parents do not allow their children to make certain decisions in their lives on their own: they would not be in a position to know what is best for themselves. Every parent would want their child to watch this show in order to realize that the decision of the parent is always paramount.

Father and Daughter Ad

Father and Daughter Ad also tries to explain children’s immaturity in terms of making solid decisions on their own, and therefore, parents should be their guides through the life. Since this advertisement is a parody, it portrays a negative picture of such parents’ belief. The parent in the advertisement allows his daughter board a vehicle with people who are members of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a dangerous terrorist organization, though he sees RPG and machine weapon in their hands (Saturday Night Live). The father just asks the man in the car to take care of his daughter, and even the man’s reply “Death to America” does not make him refrain his daughter from going with the men.

This advertisement disapproves the fact that the parent has the final say. The girl interrupts her father’s statement when he is on the verge of telling her something. The daughter’s decisions are paramount in this setting. Despite the father’s numerous attempts to ask the daughter if she would be fine, she manages to cut him short and proceed with whatever she wants.

With respect to cultural aspects, this advertisement reveals that there are parents who grant their children the power to make any decision or choice they find reasonable without any adult intervention (Saturday Night Live). Probably, no parent in their right mind would want their child to watch this show as it depicts a negative impact on their lives by undermining their parent authority.

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Blackish

This show also concerns the issue of the relations between a parent and a child as well as their view on decision–making process. The setting of this television show about the issue of children and television portrays a picture where the parent and the child are compromising on the issues surrounding the latter (StreamSeries). The father offers the son to choose whatever he likes. At the same time, the adult is trying to impose somehow to the child some qualities that he deems important for him.

The underlying message from the issue of children and television is that the parents have the final say on the decisions and choices adopted by their children. This show does not seem to disapprove or promote this; it is torn between the two. The father of the boy in the show appears to have given his son the mandate to choose what he wants and to go for it. On the other hand, he is involved in some other decisions about his son, especially those which can result in at least partial loss of his African heritage (Casey et al.). To illustrate, even though his son is interested in playing hockey, the father does not prohibit him from doing so, notwithstanding it is not a game commonly played by African Americans. He instead just asks him if he could play basketball. The son replies that even though he would love to play basketball, he is not good at it, while he is skilful in playing hockey. In addition, this sport allows him being close to girls. The father and son talking about such issues demonstrate great mutual understanding between the characters.

The show describes the culture as a phenomenon that changes as days unfold. Previously, making all the choices and decisions for the children was a complete responsibility of parents (StreamSeries). Now, parents are offering their children the chance to express their wishes and base the choices and decisions for them on these factors.

Conclusion

In the Western culture, especially its American embodiment, the issues that surround children are very sensitive and they attract attention of many people. Furthermore, the issues regarding television and children are very contentious and they raise numerous concerns among parents. Parents strive to achieve the best for their children and nothing more. The reason as to why they try to restrict what their children are watching is because they know that some programs and shows on TV can negatively affect them. Cases of children attempting to copy the lives of their stars on TV are numerous. Children are never aware when they imitate bad behaviour. It is the sole responsibility of the parents to protect them from such situations by making mature and rational decisions for them. The practice of parents making all the choices for their children, especially on what they are watching on television, seems to have taken root in the culture and the discussed TV shows clearly demonstrated this trend.