Getting Along: Taming the TV Print
News Releases - General Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:26
  • Most 2- to 5-year-olds watch TV an average of 31 hours each week, or more than 4 hours each day.
  • Prime time TV has an average of 6 violent acts every hour; children's programming has an average of 26 violent acts every hour.
  • The average American child witnesses 45 acts of violence on TV each day.
  • Children watching TV may see 50,000 TV commercials each year.
  • The average American family has the TV on for 6.2 hours every day.

TV Violence

Children may:

  • develop strong emotional fears;
  • become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others;
  • become "immune" to the horror of violence;
  • gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems;
  • imitate the violence they observe on television; or
  • identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers.

Parents can limit the negative effects of TV violence

  • Refuse to let children see shows known to be violent.
  • Refuse to buy violent videos.
  • Change the channel or turn off the TV when something offensive or violent comes on.
  • Verbally show disapproval of violent episodes.
  • Emphasize the belief that violent behavior is not the best way to solve a problem.

Who is watching?

Use your child's age and development to guide you in choosing TV programs.

Preschoolers have longer attention spans and are able to watch short programs. However, they often are not able to understand the whole story of a program. They can remember only small pieces of what they see and often cannot tie everything together.

School-age children understand much more than preschoolers; however, they often misinterpret what they see. School-agers can distinguish between reality and fantasy portrayed by live actors versus cartoons, but may have difficulty interpreting more subtle messages.

Contact Information:

Lesia Oesterreich
Family Life Extension Specialist
Human Development & Family Studies
Iowa State University
Phone: (515) 294-0363
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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