The following article was written by board member Judy McGuire, parent of two college age girls, and kindergarten teacher for the last twelve years.

The Influence of T.V.

"Some Saturday morning turn on the television and watch the cartoons that are mesmerizing America's children. Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to the seductive evils seeking to capture young and impressionable minds.

Then walk through the toy stores. Look at the toys that have been designed for children. It's a sign of the times, the harvest of a society that's increasingly fascinated by the supernatural. Sadly it's not the supernatural as it relates to God, but that which belongs to Satan." 1

T.V. does have a great deal of influence on all our lives, but especially young ones. If this were not true, toy, games and cereal companies would not be advertising during children's programs. If T.V. can influence those kinds of choices for our children, then obviously the programs they watch can influence their thoughts and actions.

One of the teaching methods used on Sesame Street is repetition, and we all know that it works. Therefore, watching over and over again, violence, and the occult influences that are part of cartoons and other family (?) programs , have to affect their minds. Evidence can be seen as they play (hitting, knocking each other down, kicking, shooting and calling on powers to help them), their vocabulary, the clothes they wear (check your child's closet and see how many of their clothes have T.V. characters on them, from Ninja Turtles to Bart Simpson) and their accessories (lunch boxes, book bags, and jewelry).

Two years ago with the release of Ghostbusters II and the Ghostbusters cartoons, their toys were one of the most requested Christmas items. Within 6 months most of those expensive proton pacs, houses, cars, etc., were pushed into a closet and forgotten about.

There are so many children in need of speech therapy, that therapists cannot keep up. Why? Consider the time spent in front of T.V. instead of talking to other family members, or playmates.

They don't have ample opportunities to develop good speech.

How many of us use the T.V. as a babysitter. Most of us would fire a babysitter who acted like the Ninja Turtles, the world's most fiercesome fighting team, the Superheroes, or the Gummi Bears. What's wrong with those 'cute little' Gummi Bears? In one episode alone, they cast a spell to move a boy from one place to another, they gave him a magic potion to make him strong and, as they do not want humans to know they exist, they told this boy not to tell anyone about them. When the boy defeated the enemy, he was asked how he accomplished such great things, he lied saying he just happened to be there, and one of the Gummi Bears over- hearing him said "good boy!"

Instead of hours in front of the T.V., read good books that teach values not violence, and truth not lies. Instead of expensive toys that soon loose their appeal and provide little or no opportunities for creative play, but lego blocks, make play dough, or cookies to share with someone. Teach them about God's creation -- plant a garden with them, go for a walk on a beach and build sandcastles, see the animals in parks and farms, make snowangels, go for walks and talks together.

One of God's desires is for families to know and love Him. Parents have an awesome responsibility and as we see morals and respect deteriorating, we must remain true to God's direction for us to "Train our children the way they should go. . ." (Proverbs 22:6a) Training is not something that can happen only once a week for an hour during Sunday School. Some synonyms for training are -- development, education, experience, upbringing, practice and exercise -- not things that involve a little effort. It is an ongoing thing, daily teaching God's word and honoring Him with our lives.

Think about the day your child leaves your home for a career or education, what do you think will have the most beneficial effect on his/her life, hours of violent, deceptive and amoral cartons or the truth of God's Word and the knowledge of His love?


1) Kay Arthur, Lord Is It Warfare?" (Portland, Oregon, Multinomah Press, 1991)


The End

Editors Note: The high levels of boredom found throughout all ages of children and youth, is directly related to the high levels of excitement, action, and rapid paced theme changes, that are found in our television shows, movies, rock videos, and video games. In comparison to all this, things like studying, reading (both wholesome books and the Bible), and even just examining God's creation are all low key items in contrast. Don't expect young people, or children, to develop an imagination or fascination with reading and/or experimentation over night -- these all take time. If you have allowed heavy T.V. watching, or video game playing, don't try and cut it out cold turkey -- cut back bit-by-bit allowing other interests to develop.

(c) 1993-1997. Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.