- Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking
- Back to School
- Cellphone Parenting
- Character Strengths and Life Skills
- Cyberbullying, Haters, and Trolls
- Early Childhood
- Facebook, Instagram, and Social
- Learning with Technology
- Marketing to Kids
- Mental Health
- News and Media Literacy
- Privacy and Internet Safety
- Screen Time
- Sex, Gender, and Body Image
- Special Needs and Learning Difficulties
- Technology Addiction
- Violence in Media
Should I be concerned about the violent cartoons my kid enjoys watching?
Whether it's in old-school classics such as Tom and Jerry or it's modern slapstick such as in Oggy and the Cockroaches, many kids love the action and absurdity of cartoon mayhem and, yes, violence. But if you choose shows geared for your kids' age, co-view, talk through some of the images and ideas, and balance the rough stuff with other media. These types of cartoons probably won't negatively impact most kids.
If your kid watches a lot of violent cartoons and is demonstrating troubling behavior -- for example, imitating the characters, acting out toward others, showing excessive fear, demonstrating risky behaviors, or slipping in school -- violent cartoons could be a factor. Kids younger than 7 don't necessarily distinguish between cartoon and real violence, so they will process a made-up situation the way they would a real one. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the shows your kid watches.
The amount of violence. Is the entire show based on violence such as explosions, aggression, and weaponry?
The type of violence. Even cartoon graphics can portray realistic violence -- for example, kidnapping, torture, sexual violence, and use of weapons -- and show blood.
The role of violence. Any portrayal of violence should show the consequences of subsequent pain and suffering, not triumph.
Total exposure to media violence. Does your kid go from violent cartoon to violent video game to violent DVD throughout the day?
Use Common Sense's age ratings to make sure your kids' shows are geared for their ages.
The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at childmind.org.