The intense media coverage that accompanies traumatic events, such as war, acts of terrorism and natural disasters, can be very disturbing for children and teens. Certain young people are particularly vulnerable and some can be seriously distressed simply by watching TV replays of such events.
Parents, educators, health practitioners and others who work with kids can help to lessen anxieties arising from the coverage of catastrophic events.
Regulation of television content in Canada is primarily a voluntary system. Broadcasters, cable systems and specialty channels follow voluntary codes of conduct that address issues such as violence, gender representation, ethics, and advertising to children.
TV can send powerful messages to children, so it’s important to teach them to think critically about what they see on TV.
Television watching should be a fun and relaxing activity for kids and adults alike—but too often it’s a source of family conflict.
If you’re concerned about television, banning it isn’t a practical solution. Instead, you need to learn to co-exist with television by managing how much your kids watch, and what.
Educate your kids about advertising and how marketers target young people
Whether it’s Darth Vader, the Daleks in Doctor Who or the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, most of us remember seeing something on screen that we could only watch from behind a couch or under one of our parents’ coats: in fact, 90 per cent of adults report an enduring memory of having been traumatized as a child by something they saw on television or in a movie. What we may not remember, however, is how serious and persistent the effects of these frightening moments and images can be. As we guide our children through their media experiences, it’s important to realize that what they see can lead to problems like vivid nightmares, fear of the dark, having trouble sleeping and refusing to sleep alone.
There are five key ideas that help kids think critically about media. You can start to make your kids aware of these concepts almost as soon as they start asking you questions!
For most youth, the Internet is all about socializing and while most of these social interactions are positive, increasing numbers of kids are using the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.
Media and communications technology play an important role in a student’s health and physical education, for better or for worse. The new Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum provides a spring board to start discussions related to health and media literacy.