The modern world is damaging our children There are many influences on children in the modern world that can affect their development: from their physical growth and development of language, to their emotional wellbeing and social abilities. Changes in the world around us can influence our children substantially on a daily basis and could lead to long term issues. In this assignment I will be focusing on the effect of media on children and changes in play.
The Media There are many forms of media available to children today and many ways in which they are able to access these sources. Children come into contact with computers, hones, games consoles and the internet regularly with many beneficial outcomes. Children have access to a world of knowledge and information, educational games and ability to contact friends through social media which can all contribute to a healthy development, however, many children are able to gain access to material that is not age appropriate.
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Although the internet accommodates many interesting and educational sites and connects families and friends, it also contains adult content which could have harmful effects on a child. This also crosses over into magazines and music videos where sexualities images are often shown. Advertising is another area of media which can be used in a positive way, for example, promoting healthy eating or keeping active, but is often used in a negative way with children being bombarded by images of products and being pressured to buy the latest items available.
Most adults are aware of the concept of advertising and the many tricks of the trade, however, children are less knowledgeable on this subject and therefore are highly susceptible to advertising, a fact which many companies exploit. The average child in the I-J spends five to six hours on screen-based entertainment each day. Writer and consultant on child development and education, Sue Palmer, feels that this time has replaced the time that children previously would have spent playing outdoors and that this poses a danger to their overall development far more than the actual act of playing on a computer or watching television. Palmer, 2010) This can also limit the child’s chances of interaction with the world around them and also their social interaction with other children and adults. Reading is another important skill to master for a child, other than being an important skill in everyday life it can in improve a child’s thinking skills and aids in writing. In the modern world, with more focus on media, many children rarely visit a library or sit down with a book and this crucial life skill can be delayed or not achieved to its full potential. Palmer, 2006) The over reliance on television and computers to provide entertainment for children has led many to think that it can affect all aspects of life and can lead to childhood obesity, poor family relationships, lower academic achievement, weakened concentration and insensitivity to others. Many busy working families use TV to entertain their children whilst they work or complete household chores leading to restricted social interaction between child and parent.
It has however also been noted that children living in households with more restricted access to media can experience exclusion from some peer interactions that relate to media use (Ever, I en Ballet Report, an Independent review AT conversationally anon exultation’s of childhood, was produced in June 2011 and included Erg Baileys thoughts on the problems we are having with media and its ongoing effect on children, along with parents views on the subject.
Bailey stated that the pressure on children to grow up before they are ready has taken two forms, firstly the pressure to take part in a sexualities life and secondly the commercial pressure which is put upon children to buy and use certain products that are advertised to them. (Bailey, 2011).
His recommendations on resolving this problem were put forward to the government and after a summit at held on 11th October 2011 including a number of international business heads, the minister of state for Children and Education, Sarah Theater, made public a letter that had gone out to the many businesses and reparations that have agreed to take action including the advertising standards agency, Videophone, FOCI, MET, The British retail consortium, BET and Primary amongst others. This outlined the that are being put into place to ensure a safer environment for children.
BET confirmed that the top four Sips (BET, Virgin, Sky, Talk Talk) have introduced a new code of practice whereby new customers will actively choose to enable access to restricted adult websites from their providers as appose to having this available and having to look into accessing parental controls. The advertising association are now pushing for a ban on peer-to-peer advertising, where under ass’s are employed to advertise to other children. Many companies have voluntarily opted into this scheme including Nintendo and Backbone. Theater, 2011) Changes in play Play is extremely important for every area of a child’s development. At birth a child’s brain will contain 100 billion neurons, as these nerves cells grow synapses are created which link the neurons. At birth there are on average 2,500 synapses per neuron but by the age of three this has normally risen to 15,000. These connections enable the child to develop many functions. For example, exposure too variety of words during early years helps a child’s brain to build the connections that will then enable a child to learn more words throughout their lives.
Early stimulation is key and this is how play can enable us to build those learning tools. The more situations we are exposed to, the more they can learn about the world around them and their involvement in it. They can watch other children or adults and begin to mimic their actions or interact with the nature around them and begin to make assumptions bout how things work. (Newborn, 1997, up. 4-7) Exposure to the outdoors therefore can open up many opportunities for personal growth.
A child can interact with their surroundings, learn about risk, the physics of the world around them, play with other children creating a more socially aware child and be free to run, Jump and burn off energy. There has even been evidence to show that in China, where children were given short breaks at school every 50 minutes for child initiated outdoor play, they had a longer concentration span than children who were not given hose frequent play breaks. (H Stevenson, 1990) When play is restricted, or children chose other options, their learning can be limited as well as their overall physical health.
Research produced by the Essex University in 2008 has revealed that children are weaker than previous generations with one in 10 children unable to hold tenet own welling when nagging Trot a wall oar, compared Walt only one In 2 1998. Dry Gavin Concordances, who conducted the research, believes this to be due to the modern child’s over reliance on computer technology and also that children are often dissuaded from climbing trees and other outdoor activities for health and safety reasons. Concordances, 2011) Conclusion In conclusion, there is sound evidence of the effects of the modern world on our children and this could have a major impact on society in the future, unless we decide to take measures to ensure children are developing healthily and are engaging in a wide range of activities to enable them to acquire the key skills that they will take with them on their Journey through life.
More could be done by the government to ensure that when a child is in school they are getting access to hysterical activity and child initiated play, as in some households parents may refuse to offer these opportunities and these children could suffer substantially. Children could also benefit from exposure to risk allowing them to be more independent and make decisions on whether an activity is safe or dangerous, without this they could become completely reliant on adults for decision making and have difficulties when maturing into young adults and being expected to make decisions for themselves.