Cartoons and Addiction: What’s the Limit?

Modern technologies have made being a child more fun than ever. In the past, children were very often bored, and a hundred years ago, it was not uncommon to see a child having a pet rock or a twig that it plays with all day. Today, on the other hand, we can see that TV’s, computers and smartphones have made childhood an endless highway of fun. One of the most beloved ways of entertaining children in the past couple of decades has been cartoons; although they change, the children love them all the same. However, can you have too much of a bad thing? When should you stop with the cartoons before your child develops ad addiction?

How can someone get addicted to cartoons?

Technically speaking, the configuration of the human brain makes it possible for us to become addicted to practically anything, from the sugar in our food to scratching our scalp with our nails. All of these actions or events that we consider to be pleasant cause our body to produce hormones of happiness, which, in turn, are what causes the beautiful and addictive feeling. When we look at the basis of this process, it is no different from becoming addicted to drugs.

However, it is with good timing and conscious effort that we stop some of the habits that we have from turning into true addictions.

What are some other negative effects?

Children can often look at cartoons and see characters they may consider to be good role models, but which, in fact, prove to be bad examples on which they should model their behavior. If you notice your child impersonating characters from a cartoon, it is a good sign to cut back on the cartoons a little bit.

Also, looking at a screen for too long can be harmful to your child’s eyes, so if you want to prevent getting prescription glasses, you need to start paying attention to how much time your offspring spends in front of a screen.

What can be done to combat these negative effects of cartoons?

First of all, do not be afraid that your children are bored. Numerous psychologists agree that boredom is one of the key elements for the proper development of the children’s cognitive abilities and proper behavior. Boredom forces the children to examine and re-examine the world around them, and in that way become better acquainted with it. They should also not be exposed to an unhealthy amount of information that their young, developing brains cannot process and categorize. This is not saying that children should not watch cartoons altogether, they are still children! Cartoons are still allowed, but no longer than an hour per day, especially for younger children, whose brains are developing rapidly.

Adele

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