Absent parenting has lead to the mass media parenting the youth of our society. Media has played a major role in people’s lives for a very long time. Society is influenced by T. V. , radio, newspapers, along with many other things that cause the influence to spread out to our society, especially to the youth. With technology being what it is today, the media has a number of ways to influence us at a much quicker rate.
While it’s necessary to have the exposure to learn and gain knowledge of today’s views, it’s also necessary to have a basis to control or restrict unnecessary information to avoid contamination of the minds of our younger generations. Mass media causes adolescents to act in violent ways and have aggressive behaviors. A lot of media sources such as videos games and television have very aggressive characteristics. Video games such as Call of Duty and television shows such as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are one of many media influences that impact our youth in a negative way.
This type of media features sexual behaviors, realistic violence, and all around uncomfortable imagery and has been around since the early days of broadcasting. Opinions expressed by the media affect everyone. Children might not be able to filter what is opinion and what is an actual fact. Kevin D Browne and Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis discusses in their article, The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach,“In the USA an average of 20–25 violent acts are shown in children’s television programs each hour, with an average of three to five violent acts during prime-time television viewing.
High exposure to television has been assumed to be likely to lead to high exposure to television violence. A significant association was reported between the amount of time spent watching television during adolescence and early adulthood (with accompanying probable exposure to violence) and the likelihood of subsequent antisocial behavior, such as threatening aggression, assault or physical fights resulting in injury, and robbery.
This association remained significant after controlling for previous aggression, childhood neglect, family income, neighborhood violence, parental education, and psychiatric disorders, although rates of actual violence watched were not measured. The second US study with a cohort of 557 children, also provided longitudinal evidence, but the investigators looked specifically for a link between children’s exposure to television violence and aggressive behavior in young adulthood.
Children aged 6 to 9 years in late 1977 were followed up 15 years later. Structural equation modeling showed that childhood exposure to media violence was predictive of aggressive behavior in early adulthood in both men and women, even when controlling for socioeconomic status, intelligence quotient, and various parenting factors (eg, parental viewing habits and aggressive behavior). Identification with aggressive television characters and perceived realism of television violence also predicted later aggression” (Browne, Hamilton-Giachritsis).
In comparison some of society’s reaction to this could be that kids can handle watching these shows or playing these games without being influenced by them, media is not going to influence them in any way. The argument isn’t that all children are going to become deviant because of media, but logically, children do tend to intimidate others, good or bad. Some shows are even to inappropriate for adults to watch at times. It almost comes to question who some of this media was created to entertain? At times this question could be rather unclear. Another issue with the media and adolescents is the peer pressure of becoming sexually active earlier.
Many parents believe that if you don’t talk to your kids about sex, they won’t become sexually active, that’s not true. That’s why it’s important that parents are present to explain what is right and wrong to mirror off of in society. If kids aren’t educated about sex from their parents then they are going to learn more about it either from T. V. , peers, the internet, etc. Today it’s rather hard to find anything in media without some form of sex involved in the concept. It makes it seem normal for those younger to engage in sexual relations. Whether it’s being portrayed as being the thing to do or a rebellious act, it intrigues young people.
Adolescents look to the media as a source for info on sexuality and relations. Popular T. V. shows such as Jersey Shore or Teen Mom and magazines such as Seventeen are a few in many media influences that describe sex as one of the first steps of growing up. It isn’t hard for a child to turn on the T. V. or press an accidental ad on the internet to get a quick peak at a sexually scene, its safe to say that sexuality and violence are easy to access nowadays. The media is an everyday part of our youth’s lives. Although some try to avoid the media, it isn’t really possible to do so as the media comes in different forms.
Laura M. Carpenter states in her article “Mass media plays a major role in transmitting cultural scenarios for sexuality. Media images typically reflect the prevailing values and behaviors of the societies in which they are created and, in turn help reproduce those values and behaviors” (Carpenter). In contrast another argument could be that adolescents are becoming more sexually active because of other things, not the media. Not everyone is influence by what they see, but some actions are easily looked at and idolized to the point that people intimidate those actions, such as a clothing or hair style.
In other words, “Everybody’s doing it. ” The only bad thing about negative influences is that they only seem to show you the good in yours actions, but never like to share the bad things that could happen; bad things such as going to jail for beating up another person, or catching a deadly disease or getting pregnant from having sex. That’s why it’s important for the parents to inform the child on what is the right and wrong things to do, because then they can tell them what comes along with the actions they choose to make.
To go along with the other contaminating influences that mass media perceives is also the view on body imagery. It’s not uncommon for both boy and girls to be self-conscious about their bodies. This begins at an early age with action figures being well built “hero” types and dolls for girls having perfect hour glass frames. They see all the beautiful bodies on society’s “perfect” men and woman in magazines and on television and believe these are characteristics someone would have to do in order to be considered “good looking. ” Jennifer L.
Derrene discusses in her article how “The current media culture is complicated and very confusing. Women are told that they can and should “have it all. ” They expect family, career, and home to be perfect, and Martha Stewart tells them how to do it. The media inundates them with mixed messages about what is sexy, making it difficult to choose a role model. The heroin chic waif made popular by Kate Moss in the early 1990s competes with the voluptuous Baywatch babe personified by Pamela Anderson and the athletic soccer stars who celebrated a World Cup victory by tearing their shirts off.
Though it is highly unlikely for a rail-thin woman to have natural DD-cup size breasts, toy manufacturers set this expectation by developing and marketing the Barbie doll, whose measurements are physiologically impossible. Thankfully, Barbie’s designers revamped her figure back in the late 1990s. However, with increased availability of plastic surgery, today’s women are faced with similarly unrealistic expectations every time they open a fashion magazine” (Derenne). Eating disorders are one good example of the effect the media could have on our youth.
Derrene also notes “Although fewer men meet criteria for anorexia and bulimia than do women, more men are becoming concerned with shape and weight. While some of the manifestations are similar to the disordered eating found in women, there are some important differences as well” (Derenne). It isn’t uncommon to use people that are shown on television, movies or on the Internet as role models or “heroes” and obsess over their images. Although others might argue it’s the peers they are surrounded by that impact the images and dissatisfactions kids have on their own bodies.
Its true peers do tend to bully the “nerdy” or “chubby” kid but kids learn what “good looking” and “cool” is from the media that they’re exposed to. Peer pressure can lead to experimentation with drugs and alcohol, sex, etc. As discussed earlier media is a big part of our youth’s everyday lives and it’s hard to not be impact by the images that are seen today. That’s why it’s important for parents to ensure that all family members are getting a healthy dinner, parents have the opportunity to learn about children’s school life, and the family can brainstorm together when problems arise.
Another issue with media is the argument that has been discussed for a very long time, and that is how fairytales give our youth “false hope. ” Since a very young age children are impacted by the expectation that society holds on us. For girls, in order to find your “prince” or “knight in shining armor,” you must have an hour glass frame and long beautiful hair. For boys, in order to get that beautiful girl you must be rich or good looking and strong. Children are never told that these movies are not realistic and that fairytales like these don’t exist.
The reality is that things like that don’t happen, with exceptions of course. It’s almost like we’re setting our youth up for failure. Kids need to be told that they don’t have to be in distress, blond, skinny, rich, or strong to find love. Lori Baker-Sperry describes in her article, The Production of meaning through Peer Interaction: Children and Walt Disney’s Cinderella “Children appropriate messages and meanings from the world of adults and filter them through their own understanding and experiences. Children’s responses to social messages indicate their ability to understand and make meaning of the social world.
This does not occur simply as the child’s reaction to social messaging, however. The process of interpretation is most effectively negotiated at the level of interaction where understanding is conceptualized, organized, and reaffirmed through peer identity” (Baker-Sperry). With all that in mind, you might be starting to think that fairy tales are bad for our children. This is not the point of the argument however, but rather to address some of the potential negative impacts of the stories. People have been debating for quite some time whether or not fairy tales have a positive or a negative effect on children.
Fairytales are positive because they advance children’s imaginations However, the negative aspects do at times outweigh the positive. People who disagree with this argument could also say that fairy tales are made for children to be happy; they understand the difference between fact and fiction. Although fairy tales do make children happy, sometimes it is hard to distinguish the difference between the two. That’s why it’s important for parents for parents to be present so they can tell them what to believe and what not to believe.
Overall, media has gotten to the point where it’s almost overriding parenting. Children are becoming more receptive to media influences than having ideal role models such as their parents. It’s understandable that it’s difficult for parents to keep children occupied with such busy schedules, which could mean that is also difficult to monitor what their children are viewing. Although movies, music, magazines, and so on, can inspire positively, the power of today’s media and entertainment tend to negatively influence behavior in our society.
Consider the attitudes of disrespect among youth toward adults and the use of profanity into everyday vocabulary, which can simply be picked up from commercials. Linda Schuchmann describes in her article, The Importance of Role Modeling for Our Children, “While children do indeed look to the media for role models, parents still have a tremendous amount of influence in their children’s lives. To increase their influence, parents need to limit the amount of time kids spend watching television and videos and increase the time children spend with them.
Children are more likely to imitate parents if parents spend time with them. In addition, parents should be very intentional about what they role model for their children” (Schuchmann). It’s important that parents are always good role models for their children, if your children see you acting in a negative way they’re going to most likely mirror you’re actions. Sometimes kids mirroring others behaviors tells the parent and others who the child is picking up their behavior from. Everybody when they were little all had someone that they looked up to.
Even today, as an adult there is someone you admire in some way. These people were and are our role models. Role models give people motivation to go after and hopefully achieve what we want. That’s why it’s important to help make sure that parents are being positive role models to their children. It’s also important that parents share their values with their children, which means that parents should talk to their children about where you stand on issues such as drugs, sex, etc. Also, parents should show their children that the parents are confident and happy with who they’re.
Children need to see that their parents have good self-esteem. If children see their parents are happy with whom they are, then they are more likely to be happy with whom they are. Another important role to teach is the importance of being independent. Again, children are going to most likely mirror what their parent’s reactions to situations are, if your child sees their parents stressed out or angry and the parent handles the situation by punching something or screaming , then the child is going to think it’s okay to do that as well.
If parents are too busy to constantly be there to monitor what their child is doing, then look for positive role models to introduce into the child’s life. Maybe there is someone that shares a common interest with the child. It’s not difficult to find positive role models. Parents are the best example that their child could ask for. Parents could disagree with this argument by saying it’s easier said than done and it’s nearly impossible to monitor what their children are doing at all times.
Although it is true that it’s hard to constant monitor your children, there are ways to make sure they don’t have access to certain materials. Parents could put locks on inappropriate channels and websites to make sure their children don’t have access to such material. As for as friends go, the parents could get to know the parents of their children’s friends and make sure to discuss what is their child is allowed to have access to so their child is less likely to be exposed to negative influences.
It’s extremely important that parents constantly reinforce at home what the positive role models outside of the home are teaching their children; so that way children know the right and wrong in our society and are less likely to make poor decisions, such as why it’s important to be successful in school and why it’s important to be yourself no matter what others are doing. Being the best you, you can be is the best advice parents could give to their children. It’s clear that children are influenced by media in so many different aspects.
By parents being absent whether the cause is from working a lot or just being neglectful, is causing children to look elsewhere for guidance. By looking for guidance in others causes children to be impacted negatively. A lot of media is causing adolescents to be influenced and advanced in things that they should not be influenced by; things such as sex, self-consciousness from media and peers, and drugs. By parents not teaching their children the difference between right and wrong causes them to think that anything they do is acceptable, even if it’s not.
In most cases growing up, children are going to look to their parents or guardian for guidance. If a child see’s their guardian or whoever they’re around do things such as fight, do drugs, drink, etc. then they’re going to mirror what that person is doing. A good example of this could be a child living in the urban community, if they grow up around drug dealers and gangs they’re going to grow up wanting to be just like that, it’s not because they think it’s cool, but rather it’s the only life they know. This goes to show why it’s important that parents should teach their children morals and values.
Children are dependent on their parents to provide for them, providing goes along with teaching children about morals and values. By children having values this helps them to grow up to be stable, responsible individuals. As soon as children begins to understand the concept of right and wrong is around the time the children should be taught about morals and values. By parents being present in their child’s life they have a responsibility to guide their children in making good decisions in friends, media, culture, and social issues.
If a child is exposed to negative media then it would only be right to explain to the children what the meaning of these things mean, and what is the right way to go upon handling situations like this. Again, children are going to mirror what others do, if a parent decides to cuss a lot around their child and the child decides to talk with such obscenity, they are only going off of what the parent is showing them what is okay to do. It’s important that parents are present in their children’s lives because we have to teach our youth the right way to live, so that they can grow up to be responsible adults.
If our youth is taught to look for guidance from role models who do activities that they should not being doing, then they’re only going to think that it’s right to do the same. If children aren’t taught that everyone is different and as long as you think you’re beautiful then nothing else matters, then our youth will all grow up thinking that they have to look like the people they see in the media, when in reality we all know that’s unrealistic. In our present day we cannot get very far with our education, whether that education is from home or from school we all must learn how to live and to be successful in this society.
The older generations have much to teach our younger generations. Children grow into adults and usually live according to the way they were raised, whether they were negatively or positively influenced. At the end of the day media is still going to be a big part of our society and children are always going to be peer pressured. I wish our society was perfect and everyone got along, but that’s really unrealistic. Like Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world. ”