General Question

espanyol's avatar

How can we fix our kids brains? Do media control their minds?

Asked by espanyol (169 points ) July 1st, 2010

Im production manager at ST Kids TV channel, and one of the main issues we are dealing with is how we can provide a positive educational campaigns to fight back the huge media negative effects on our Kids minds? Do you have ideas, suggestions?

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32 Answers

marinelife's avatar

What you need to do is teach kids critical thinking skills. How to analyze the information that comes into their purview and where it comes from.

mattbrowne's avatar

Have long and good talks. Ask them to join clubs and become part of projects.

silverfly's avatar

Encourage them to read and most importantly, come up with their own conclusions about the information they’re receiving. It’s not necessarily bad to watch the stations you like to watch, but encourage them to gather information from many sources and form their own opinions.

Nullo's avatar

The media most commonly employs spin (though you won’t get anyone there to admit it), but more actively they’re involved in what is called agenda setting; they’ll tell you what to think about, and the spin ‘helps’ you with the how.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Have all the children run to their windows, stick their heads out & scream “I’m as mad as hell & I’m not gonna take this anymore!”

gemiwing's avatar

I need more details. What’s your budget? What age range? What medium? Is it to be a one-time or cyclical program?

wundayatta's avatar

Interactive television. Give them problems, and let them solve them and discuss the solutions—sort of game style. Have real give and take, and let the show improvise as it goes along.

If you can’t do real time interaction, then find a way to do asynchronous interaction. Engage them. Make them feel good for solving problems. They’ll be yours forever. That’s the trick of game shows. Audience involvement.

[Edit] Not that I agree with the premise of the question.

CMaz's avatar

“how we can provide a positive educational campaigns to fight back the huge media negative effects on our Kids minds?”
I have been in television broadcasting for 25 years in one form or another. TV in general is a bull in a china shop.
Providing a positive educational campaign, is like putting a bucket of water on a forest fire. In the scheme of things, it is all about generating revenue. As much as possible.

Sorry to say, and it would end our jobs. Greatly limit TV viewing and/or Shut the TV off.
Would you or would you be allowed to do a campaign that basically said. Shut the TV off, go out and play?
The only thing you can do is use only sponsors that totally agree with how your programming is done.

Anything else, is a fluffy attempt to give the impression that you are trying to make a difference. :-) No matter how deeply you feel about the subject.

Television has an agenda, and it is not what you are watching.

If it was free to produce and no revenue stream was generated. It would be a whole different world.
Wait, I take that back… Then it would be government funded that having its own agenda. :-)

Jewel's avatar

The biggest, most positively effective, and most unlikely action you could take would be to stop commercials during children’s programing. They are hammering horrible messages into the minds of children. For this reason I limit TV viewing to Public Broadcasting, and monitor those programs.

tedd's avatar

Get their parents to take a more active role in raising their children… rather than leaving it to tv.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@ChazMaz – I think Fred Rogers may have been the exception to that rule, and @espanyol, if you can review copies of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, I think that might help to focus your goals.

Regardless of how we might feel about the media and their various agendas, sometimes having a person like Fred Rogers (RIP) go on telly and daily say “I like you just the way you are,” is all a kid in certain kinds of homes might know of acceptance.

SuperMouse's avatar

I believe that it is not up to the media to provide a positive educational campaign for my children, I believe it is up to me as their parent. I view media as entertainment, not an education tool. @marinelife if absolutely right, kids need to be taught critical thinking skills and it is up to parents to do so. No matter how hard we might try or how bad we might want it, television is incapable of teaching these skills – for all the reasons @ChazMaz mentioned and more. I think the best you can do in creating your new station is to provide programming that is more than just brain candy, that comes with a positive message, and maybe sneaks in some thinking and social skills somewhere along the line.

CMaz's avatar

@aprilsimnel – Fred Rogers would not cut it today. We were less pouted with media intervention in those days.
We just were starting to get “damaged.”

CaptainHarley's avatar

When our kids were little, we threw out the old TV we had and didn’t replace it for many years. It made a world of difference.

espanyol's avatar

Many ideas in this conversation are really positive, specially the “Interactive TV” by @wundayatta and @SuperMouse , I believe that we shouldn turn the TV into a center of every things, the TV is for entertainment, but children must be exposed to responsible entertainment, where education is integrated in the programs without sending direct messages, in Media we call it Edutainment.

Cruiser's avatar

I think to teach the kids that all this “Media” is simply the creation of regular people with creative minds like theirs. It’s only a movie or video game with real people who are actors that are paid and go home at night!

I think if kids are able to see the creative process involved that creates their media they can then see it for what it is…mere entertainment not as a critical part of their lives they may currently ascribe to these “entertainment” media forms. If kids only knew all the production people involved in their little TV shows, movies and even video games I am sure they would go “WOW”!!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

“I’m just a bill. Yes, I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill…”

“Three…it’s a magic number. Yes it is…it’s a magic number…”

“Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?...”

It’s been over 40 years since I’ve seen School House Rock, Multiplication Rock, and Grammar Rock, but they stuck. And sometimes, I still rely on them.

CMaz's avatar

“the TV is for entertainment”
It is for communication. It is entertainment that has corrupted the medium.
Entertainment locking on it as soon as it was available.
And, as much as it can be entertaining in the process. We have to avoid the deer looking into headlights problem.
It is a shame we have to “entertain” in order to educate. Education has become a bad word.

If the TV was not the center of everything, it would defeat the purpose of the machine. By today’s standards.

Look at PBS. There was a time when a program showed a basic acknowledgment to sponsorship. Now they throw in complete commercials, flavored with sponsorship acknowledgment.
I understand the cutbacks and loss of government funding that they had to go through. But, it shows that sponsors will not give unless given the proper recognition to their stature.

Or they would be happy with no acknowledgment except good positive programing.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve long been an advocate of teaching children media studies. TV and media is not the problem. The problem is that most people do not know how to decipher the images and the messages being portrayed. Kids need to learn the function and purpose of the media and what the media is trying to sell us. And by sell, I don’t just mean products, I mean ideas, as well.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@tinyfaery- “The problem is that most people do not know how to decipher the images and the messages being portrayed.”

The problem with that is… the end result – you are still getting corrupt information, because even if you ‘decode’ the message…. it’s still their message that you decoded.

Get out in life & experience it all first hand- that is the last & only uncorrupted way to educate yourself.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thinking while consuming media is not the same as mindlessly watching it. If you think that media is what is ruining peoples’ minds maybe you should look at our current educational system. I’d rather a kid learn from Sesame Street than most teachers and schools. And most kids “get out in life” when they go to school.

wundayatta's avatar

My son watches cartoons and draws. And draws. And draws. He can do shading and drawing from life and I don’t know what else because he’s already, at age 10, way beyond me. I guess I don’t really think of it as mindless watching, even if there are commercials. In fact, the cellphone I got after doing a lot of research was the same cellphone he wanted me to get because of the commercial. I guess sometimes commercials are right.

DominicX's avatar

I think @tinyfaery has it right. You can blame the media all you want, but really, it’s up to you to tell your kids how to interpret the media. And if you guys think the media is just TV, think again. There’s much more to the media than TV. Magazines, music, video games, the internet, etc.

CMaz's avatar

“but really, it’s up to you to tell your kids how to interpret the media”

So true. Then they go to their friends house and sit in front of the media machine. :-)

DominicX's avatar

@ChazMaz

That essentially illustrates why you need to teach them how to interpret it. Teach them that things like perfect models are not what you need to look like, etc. You can’t shelter your kids from the media entirely, no matter how hard you try. You can have no TV, no computers, no video games, etc., but they’re going to find access to that stuff when they’re older. Seems like to it’ll be more damaging if their parents simply pretend all that stuff doesn’t exist.

CMaz's avatar

“but they’re going to find access to that stuff when they’re older.”
And hopefully by that time. Wiser. :-)
I agree, you can’t lock them up all their lives. But if people would take that “sponge” time and provide good solid and “controlled” information.
When they are out in the world they will be better prepared to process it.

The biggest problem is too much information too quickly. If and when they think they have a grasp there is new information to digest. Forced feeding..
Sort of like the internet. There is a beginning and no end. We always want a conclusion. But we try to plow through so much in order to try to complete and develop an understanding. You eventually end up with too much information, and conflicting information at that.
That can eventually causes a person to shut down. Their melon ripe for the programming. :-)

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several shows I suggest you watch to get some ideas of how others have done what you suggest. Try Berenstain Bears or Caillou for stories of family and neighborhood interactions. There are many others like this that teach critical thinking, as in what’s hidden in this picture, by Highlights Magazine

KPBS kids and Nick Jr. both have some great ideas. In Dora, the Explorer, for instance, they learn to read and follow maps. In several childrens’ shows the characters offer several alternatives to solving their story line, and then choose the best one. I saw one the other day that had the characters each choosing a different solution, and then showing which ones worked better.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Don’t let our kids watch tv. Let them play outside, do sports, and read books like our parents did before us.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I wish someone would rerun or recreate shows like Wishbone, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Boy Meets World, Flash Forward, Under the Umbrella Tree, Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Avonlea, etc. My kids are in their 20’s and still watch them on DVD.

Also, a math show that has a partnered website. Too many kids fall behind in math because they miss basic concepts, and the class moves on before they can grasp what they need for the next level.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, limit TV exposure and get the kids into some interesting hobbies.

I chose to leave the city and raised my daughter in a rural mountain community.

While she did watch some TV and videos she was also very into keeping chickens, rabbits, a major nature nut…drew and now paints beautifully ( she is 22 ) and was into bugs forever. lol We still share a huge bond with nature and animals.

I realize not everyone is in a possistion to go country, but…I think teaching kids a love and appriciation for nature is HUGE!

You CAN plant a small pumpkin patch in your backyard, get field guides for local wildlife and plants, watch quality programs like PBS and the nature, animal shows.

Kids NEED to be aware that there is so much more to life than video games.

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ericnueman's avatar

My kids were like zombies when glued in front of a TV or computer screen. At this time in television history when producers are using everything negative in the West especially to frighten people including children, it’s best to try curving their appetite as well as wisely overseeing what they watch explaining before hand by previewing programs when possible.

Ultimately a best solution is to wean kids away from bad movies & TV as well completely! – And replacing this with more wholesome video documentaries and previewed video content that is inspiring/

See activated.org for more letters concerning parental responsibilities.

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