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Delivering Children From the Negative Effects of Media


This is a controversial topic that requires soberness. To be honest media is part of modernization in our world today and we can not reject or resist its impact in our society. Media is very powerful and has many positive effects. However, my concern is about the negative influence of the media on the psychological development of children.

Parents must take a leading role to discuss this subject with their children. I am a strong believer in empowering children to take control of their lives and anything that they do. Information is power. Parents must stop being spectators in the life of their children to active teachers, mentors, counselors and coaches. This is why this forum has been created to empower parents with information and skills to help in raising better future generations. Let's now focus on negative effects of radio, television, music, games and internet.

1. Television can be a powerful teacher. In Kenya there are many television channels with very many educative programs for children to watch. Studies carried out show that television greatly influences children behaviours and attitudes. Television viewing frequently limit children's time for vital developmental activities such as playing,reading, learning to talk, spending time with peers and family, story telling,participation in regular exercises and developing other necessary physical, mental and social skills.

More recent recent studies shows that 1 to 2 hours of daily unsupervised television viewing by school going children has significant deleterious effects on academic performance especially reading. Television further affects effective communication and can lead to poor eating habit as children eat while watching programs.

During counselling sessions with children with a history of aggressive behaviours I have learnt that the violence is mostly learned through exposure to violent programs in the televisions. The amount of violence on television is continually on the increase. This partly explain why aggressive behaviours is increasing in children. Recently I was seated in my house, a child from a neighbourhood come in with a toy pistal. As part of jokes he pointed on my head and said " I can shoot you like rock" a character in a movie video. Think about programs like wrestling and action movies. They are entertaining but very effective in shaping our attitude toward war and violence.

On children sexuality television become a leading sex educator in Kenya. There are many programs introducing children to adult sexual behaviours in ways that portray these actions as normal and risk free but remain silence of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Studies show parents play an important role in their children' s social learning by controlling the programs viewed.

2. Music and Video.
Music and video have great impact on children and youth behaviours. Parents should take time to view rock music videos they have become increasingly explicit and reference to sex, drug and violence. We need to train and talk with our children about some of the popular music that contain obscene language and pictures. Most the music videos played in some vehicles popular with youth contribute in making youth approve premarital sex and drug and substance abuse. One time I had a debate in the Inoro radio, many parents who called were panicking because rate at which their children and engaging in premarital sex and drugs and substance abuse. Recent research indicated the number of teenagers being infected with H. I.V is increasing. Parents and all leaders must wake up and educate children on responsible behaviours. In patently I played some music videos with obscene language and dancing. Parents got shocked. Something's we we take for granted greatly affect our children. Its time to take action to save out children from further harm.

3. Internet and mobile phones.
Internet has a significant potential for providing children and youth with access to educational information. However, excessive amount of time spent on computer and mobile phones can contribute to obesity, undeveloped social skills and a form of addictive behaviour. Parents must protect their children from pedophiles who use internet to lure young people into sex. There was story in the televisions of young girls lured by strangers through Facebook. They traveled to Nairobi to meet their friends and got subjected to sexual defilement. Parents should educate their children on responsible use of internet since there is a great potential for children to be exposed to pornographic material. Educate children about the dangers of chatting with strangers online. Prevention is better than cure.

Let's us all become proactive in talking about this negative effects of media with our children.

Our children children will not be destroyed by the wrong effects of the media but by keeping quiet about the negative effects. This forum is ready to answer your questions.

Suggest other topics that can be useful in empowering parents in raising responsible children.

Keep following for more informative information.

By Stephen Kamore

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