Top 10 Most Violent Cartoons
How to Explain Violence in Cartoons to Kids
The history of extreme slapstick antics are practically as old as cartoons themselves. Scenes like these have lessened in more recent cartoons, but violence in cartoons is still accessible through online, DVD and TV sources. Children especially enjoy cartoons, and have difficulty fully differentiating real life from imaginary violence. In this article are some suggestions to get across this message gently and without nagging.
For Young Children
Keep in mind that young children cannot consistently understand the difference between reality and make-believe.Up until about age seven or so, children understand the world in a very concrete, literal way. Young children aren'tstupid; they just understand the world differently than adolescents or adults. Remember, children commonly hold beliefs such as:
- Cartoon characters somehow "live" inside a TV or DVD or computer.
- Animals such as dogs and cats can talk, even though a child has a pet at home that has never, ever talked.
- If you have a cape, you can fly. All you need is to find or make a suitable cape.
- Young children also do not fully understand cause and effect. For instance, they might not understand punching a person causes real, physical pain in the other person.
Don't over-discuss violence with very young children.You don't have to go into elaborate reasons why watching characters karate-kick each other is bad for him or her.
- Children will often emulate violent acts. They will also act out what they seeeven if the actions are punished on-screen. Numerous scientific studies show that a children will imitate the behavior they see.
- Change the channel or turn off the TV or other media.
- Simply state matter-of-fact:
- "I don't like what those (people/robots/creatures/etc.) are doing to each other."
- "This show is not appropriate for you."
- "I don't want you to think hitting/kicking/teasing/etc. is OK, because it's not."
Offer an alternative; don't make censoring the program a punishment.Do NOT, however, give in to whining, begging, pestering, or the like to put the show back on.
For Older Children (Roughly Age 7 and Up)
Children this age are more able to understand cause and effect, reality versus fantasy, and what is acceptable behavior. This does not, however, mean they are immune from the effects of viewing cartoon violence.
Watch TV with your kids, and discuss physical violence that your child has seen in cartoons, TV shows or movies.Don't lecture...start a dialogue. Critical thinking helps children develop skepticism when it comes to violence. Here's some questions you might ask:
- That's interesting. If someone chased me with a frying pan, I'd call the police. What would you do?
- These people seem to solve their problems with martial arts. Is that something you see at school?
- Do you think falling off a cliff would hurt you? Why doesn't it for the Coyote?
Learn about TV and "Movie Magic".Understanding how media is not reality helps children realize it's make-believe.
- Make a flip-book. Cartoons are based on this technological effect, not little people in a TV. It is also an excellent art and science project!
- Visit a TV studio. Many communities have a local TV studio, such as a community cable studio, high school or college TV station. Seeing the equipment, people, and techniques that go into making a TV show helps build understanding.
Talk about how to deal with situations appropriately.It is very easy to use aggression as a way of getting what you want but that it is something every person, including yourself, has to learn to overcome. It is very, very rare that one has to resort to physical violence to solve a situation.
- Verbal violence is also not acceptable, including bullying language or concepts. This also means put-downs, name-calling, threats and so on. While more subtle, these are surprisingly common in cartoons.
QuestionWhat do I say if my child says "Well, they aren't real are they?"?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou say -- "Of course not! Well spotted!" Encourage such a curious and critical mind and reward for your child for understanding the difference. It is the parenting that matters, not the actual cartoon and a parent who takes the time to sit with a child during a cartoon and discuss its various drawbacks calmly and sensibly will teach their child far more than the parent who rants and raves about unwatched cartoons based on a neighbor's hearsay of "that cartoon causes violence".Thanks!
- Animation does not always mean "for kids". Many animated series, such as South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy are definitely not kid-friendly.
- Be consistent. If you watch The Terminator while the children are about, you send mixed messages.
- Having older siblings can make it difficult to control TV choices for young siblings. Even if your 11 year old enjoys "The Clone Wars", it might be too much for his/her two year old sister/brother.
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