KIDS PLUS THE NEWS
More than ever, young children witness innumerable, sometimes traumatizing,
reports events on TV. It would seem that violent crime and undesirable news is unabating.
Foreign competitions, natural disasters, terrorism, murders, happenings of child abuse,
and health care epidemics flood our newscasts day-to-day. Not to mention the grubby
wave of recent school shootings.
Doing this intrudes on the innocent entire world of
children. If, as psychologists
declare, kids are like sponges and absorb anything that goes on around them,
how profoundly does viewing tv news actually affect them? Precisely how careful do
parents need to stay monitoring the flow of news in the home, and how can
they find a technique that works?
To answer these kind of questions, we turned to a new panel
of seasoned anchors, John p
Jennings, Maria Shriver, Linda Ellerbee, along with Jane Pauley–each having faced your
complexities of raising their own vulnerable children in a very news-saturated
Picture this: 6:
40 p. m. After an exhausting day at the job, Mom is busy
making evening meal. She parks her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son before
of the TV.
“Play Developers until dinner’s ready, ” she instructs the
miscroscopic ones, who,
instead, start wholesaling channels.
Brokaw on “NBC Reports Tonight, ” announces that the Atlanta gunman
has killed the wife, daughter and son, all three which has a hammer, before going on
a new shooting rampage that leaves seven dead.
On “World News
Today, ” Peter Jennings reports which a jumbo jetliner with
more than 300 passengers crashed in a very spinning metal fireball at a new Hong Kong
On CNN, you will find there’s report about the
earthquake throughout Turkey, with 2, 000
men and women killed.
Discovery station, there’s a timely special on hurricanes plus the
terror they create in young children. Hurricane Dennis has already arranged, Floyd is
Finally, they go to a local news report about a roller
coaster accident at the New
Jersey amusement park that will kills a mother and your ex eight-year-old daughter.
Nintendo was certainly not this riveting.
“Dinner’s ready! ” shouts Mom, unaware that her children could
possibly be terrified
by this menacing potpourri involving TV news.
What’s wrong using this type of picture?
“There’s a LOT
wrong by it, but it’s not that quickly fixable, ” notes Linda
Ellerbee, your creator and host of “Nick Reports, ” the award-winning news
software geared for kids ages 8-13, airing in Nickelodeon.
“Watching blood and gore on TV
is just not good for kids and this doesn’t happen do
much to enhance your lives of adults either, ” says the anchor, who aims to
inform children about entire world events without terrorizing them. “We’re straight into
stretching kids’ brains and nothing is we wouldn’t cover, ” which include
recent programs on euthanasia, your Kosovo crisis, prayer in educational facilities, book-
banning, the death charge, and Sudan slaves.
emphasizes having a of parental supervision, shielding
young children from unfounded fears. “During your Oklahoma City bombing, there
ended up terrible images of children staying hurt and killed, ” Ellerbee recalls. “Kids
planned to know if they were safe of their beds. In studies conducted by simply
Nickelodeon, we found out that kids obtain the news the most frightening issue
“Whether it’s your Gulf War, the Clinton
scandal, a new downed jetliner, or what
transpired in Littleton, you have to reassure your sons or daughters, over and over again,
that they’ll be OK–that the reason this specific story is news is who’s
ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS. News will be the exception… nobody goes on air
happily and reports how a lot of planes landed safely!
“My job should be to put the
information into the age-appropriate context and lower
stresses. Then it’s really up on the parents to monitor what his or her kids watch
and discuss the idea with them”
Yet a new study in the role of media in your lives of
children conducted by simply
the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that 95% in the nation’s children
ages 8-18 are viewing tv without their parents present.
What makes Ellerbee view the typical scenario in the harried mother above?
“Mom’s choosing a beating here. Where’s Dad? ”
Ellerbee asks. Perhaps at operate,
or living separately from Mum, or absent altogether.
“Right. Most Mothers are working as hard when they can
live in a very society where one income only doesn’t cut it anymore, “
NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver, the mother of
13, Christina, 12, Ike, 10, and Christopher, 6–agrees using Ellerbee: “But
aren’t with all the TV as a babysitter since they’re out getting manicures! “
says the 48-year-old anchor.
are struggling to make ends meet and they do it since
they need help. I don’t even think kids would be watching [as much TV] in case their
parents were home organizing a little football game.
“When I need the tv as a
babysitter, ” affirms Shriver, who leaves detailed TV-
seeing instructions behind when traveling, “I place on a safe video. I never mind
that my kids get watched “Pretty Woman” or “My Ideal Friend’s Wedding”
3, 000 periods. I’d be more fearful whenever they watched an hour of community news. That
would scare these people. They might feel: ‘Oh, our God, is somebody going into the future
in and shoot me inside my bedroom? ‘”
In a move to supervise
her own children additional closely since her husband,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, grew to be Governor, Shriver
scaled back her workload while Contributing Anchor to Dateline NBC and build
her office at home: “You can not be vigilant enough with young kids, ” she
says, “because watching violence on TV clearly carries a huge impact on
children–whether it can be TV news, movies, or characters. “
This view is shared with the American Academy of Child
along with Adolescent
Psychiatry, which states: “”TV is often a powerful influence in developing price
systems and shaping behavior… studies see that children may become immune
on the horror of violence; gradually accept violence so that you can solve problems;
and resort for you to anti-social and aggressive behavior, imitating your violence they
Although you’ll find no rules about watching TV in 49% in the
households, TV-watching at the Schwarzenegger home is actually totally
“We have a blanket rule that my kids tend not to
watch any TV at all in the
week, ” she notes, “and developing a TV in their bedrooms has not been an
option. I have sufficient trouble getting them to accomplish their homework! ” she claims
with a laugh. “Plus the half hour of reading they must do every night.
According on the Kaiser survey,
Shriver’s household is often a glaring exception to
the tip. “Many kids have their individual TV’s, VCR’s and video games of their
bedroom, ” the study paperwork. Moreover, children ages 8-18 truly spend an
average of three hours and 16 minutes viewing tv daily; only 44 minutes
looking at; 31 minutes using the laptop or computer; 27 minutes playing video online games;
and a mere 13 minutes using the internet.
“My kids, ” Shriver points out, “get home at
4 s. m., have a 20-minute separate,
then go right into preparation or after-school sports. Then, I’m a major believer in
having family dinner time. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting with the
dinner table and listening for you to my parents, four brothers, along with my grandmother,
Rose. We didn’t watch good news.
“After dinner nowadays,
we play a sport, then my kids are while having sex, reading
their books. There’s little time in that day for just about any TV, except on weekends, while
they’re allowed to watch a new Disney video, Sesame Street, Barney, Your Brady
Bunch, or Pokemon. “
Beyond safe entertainment, Shriver has
eliminated entirely an opportunity of her
children watching news events unfolding continue to exist TV: “My kids, ” the girl notes, “do
not watch just about any TV news, other than Nick News, ” instead providing your ex children
with Time for Little ones, [Teen Newsweek is also available], Highlights, and
newspaper clippings mentioned over dinner.
must be off-limits, ” Shriver concludes, “but you should filter
the news to young kids. “
ABC’s Peter Jennings, whom reigns over “World News Today, ”
most-watched nighttime newscast, emphatically disagrees with a new censored
approach to news-watching: “I have two kids–Elizabeth is 24 and
Christopher is 21– and they also were allowed to watch all the TV news and
information when they wanted, ” says your anchor. A firm believer throughout
kids understanding the world all-around them, he adapted his bestselling e-book,
The Century, for children ages 10 and older inside Century for Young People.
Zero downside to kids watching reports? “I
don’t know of just about any downside and I’ve
thought over it many times. I used to bother about my kids’ exposure to
violence and overt sex inside movies. Like most parents, I ran across that although
they were encountered with violence sooner than I would’ve liked, I don’t feel
they’ve been affected by it. The jury’s still out on the sex.
“I have exposed my kids
on the violence of the world–to your bestiality of
man–from the very beginning, at age 6 or 7. I didn’t try and hide it. I never
concerned with putting a curtain between these people and reality, because I certainly not felt
my children would be damaged since they can be exposed to violence IF that they
understood the context in which in turn it occurred. I would consult my kids about the
vulnerability of children in wartime–the fact actually innocent pawns–
and about might know about could do as a family to generate the world a more restful
Jennings firmly believes that
coddling children is often a mistake: “I’ve never
talked into my children, or to young children period. I always talk Approximately them and
my newscast is appropriate for children of any get older. “
Yet the 65-year-old
anchorman often gets letters from irate mothers and fathers: “They’ll
say: ‘How dare anyone put that on at 6: 40 when my children are seeing? ‘ My
answer is: ‘Madam, it’s not my problem. That’s YOUR trouble. It’s
absolutely up to the parent or guardian to monitor the flow of news in the home. “
Part of aiming this flow is turning the idea off altogether
at meal-time, affirms
Jennings, who believes family cuisine are sacrosanct. He is appalled that this
TV is turned on during meals in 58% in the nation’s households, this according
on the Kaiser study.