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Mental Health

How Cartoons Are Silently Impacting Your Child’s Mental Health

Binish Ahmed

Cartoons may have some hidden adverse effects on the little spectators.

No childhood is complete without cartoons. They are an inevitable part of a child’s life. Boys imagine themselves to be superheroes whereas girls fantasize about being princesses.

Children have developed so much interest in watching cartoons that they prefer staying glued to the TV or phone rather than engaging in outdoor play activities.

Sure, watching cartoons helps in learning, enhancing creativity and cognitive development. They incorporate values like friendship, family, community and a sense that good wins over evil. But there may also be some hidden adverse effects on the little spectators too.

Let’s have a look at how this colourful entertainment may affect adversely the minds of the young ones if sought without parental discernment and supervision.

Craving and compulsion

Nowadays, watching cartoons has become a grave psychological problem. Children are so obsessed with watching cartoons on TV, smartphone or tablet so much that they’ve started craving for it. The most pressing issue today is when they get bored, instead of playing, they resort to digital devices so much that it becomes a kind of compulsion for them. Even parents have started leveraging this craving of their children, as it is easier for them to feed their children while they are watching cartoons.

May encourage violence

Recent pediatric researches have reported that high levels of violence in cartoons make children more aggressive. In many popular cartoon shows, the characters often hit each other or make each other fall from heights. This depicts that there aren’t any real consequences for these actions, no one gets hurt or feels pains which in turn may encourage children to become violent in real life, simply because they lack the wisdom to decide what’s practical and what’s not.

Unruly behaviour

Being disobedient and lack of empathy is another side effect of cartoons. For instance, if the character in the cartoon is undisciplined and is very rude to his/her parents, the children may start to imitate that. Apart from this, mischievous and loud cartoon characters serve as an adverse role model for these little children who lack the judgement as to which behaviour to pick up.

Other adverse effects when children watch cartoons

  • Possibly encourage lack of empathy
  • Might encourage the use of foul language
  • Could ight promote bratty and aggressive behaviour
  • Might contain age-inappropriate sexual innuendos
  • Might lead to a sedentary lifestyle as a result of sitting for long hours

How parents can moderate the negative effects of cartoon shows

  • Control the time their child spends watching the TV or smartphone
  • Watch cartoons with your child
  • Select only age-appropriate and educational shows
  • Explain how cartoon shows and reality is different
  • Use parental control applications to lock inappropriate content
  • Do not encourage eating in front of the TV or smartphone

Not all cartoons are bad

As mentioned, not all cartoons are bad. These sketches make childhood more memorable. They are a form of entertainment that are bound to make your children laugh. And laughter, as we all know is therapeutic. It can relieve stress, soothe tension and even improve your immunity.

Some cartoon shows prove to be educational for children. They may teach kids how to count, to read alphabets or learn new words. Some convey emotional concepts that help children build interpersonal relationships in later life.

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