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How Cartoons Affect Children’s Behavior?

Most of us probably hold special childhood memories, and there is no doubt that among them are special memories of cartoons. Cartoons are not just entertainment at this stage; for children, cartoons can be a highly influential educational and educational source. Therefore, we will discuss the impact of cartoons on the child’s psychology and behaviors.


The impact of cartoons on a child’s behavior

Robinson and Shaw (2008) pointed out that cartoons help young children understand a set of complicated ideas easily, develop their working memory, stimulate them, and enhance their visual learning style. 

In the early stages of life, the child is open to all external influences. The effect of cartoons on a child’s behavior may sometimes exceed the influence of the family or the surrounding environment, because the child’s environment is usually limited, unlike cartoons that take the child on extensive journeys in the world of reality and imagination.

Disney movies, for example, combine entertainment and life lessons about love, friendship, good versus evil, death, loss, and the importance of family. 

Discussing these important issues together can enhance a child’s cognitive and behavioral development, according to a study conducted by the College of Graduate Social Work at the University of Houston.

Also, translated cartoon series carry many values such as friendship, loyalty, hard work, ambition, and others.

Perhaps the “Spacetoon” generation is the most influenced by cartoons on the intellectual, behavioral, and cultural levels. The impact of cartoons on the language of the Arab child appears in the generation that lived its childhood in front of channels like Spacetoon, ART for Children, and others, which played cartoons and animation shows with proper Arabic dubbing, which contributed to producing an entire generation fluent in Arabic and speaking classical Arabic proficiently despite the differences in the dialects of the Arab nation.


The importance of cartoons for children

Learning through the senses is vital for children’s mental and physical growth. Hearing, touch, smell, taste, and sight are the windows through which they perceive reality. We can see cartoons as an engaging and exceptional means of communication for learning and enhancing children’s curiosity.


Colors are external factors that stimulate children’s emotions and attention. Although young children see colors differently according to their developmental stage, there is evidence that colors can send specific messages. For example, soft pastel colors commonly used in children’s rooms convey a sense of calm, while bright colors such as red and yellow stimulate activity.

Cartoons are one of the effective means that use colors to convey something. Colorful moving images attract children’s attention before they understand any message, providing a world full of symbols that reflect various values, concepts, and information that would be difficult to explain to a young kid otherwise.


The role of cartoons in developing a child’s personality

Parents need to understand that children see the world differently and that fictional stories help positively understand the complex dynamics of life. Fairy tales upon which cartoons are based are rich in different symbols to teach children cognitive and moral skills. Maurizio Brassini, a child psychology expert, explains that the events of cartoons and the portrayal of good and evil in them greatly reflect on a child’s personality.

It largely depends on the type of cartoon a child watches; it may instill many good values and morals in them or develop a tendency for violence and irritability, or present negative habits and harmful behaviors on a silver platter.

Currently, cartoons have become less negative, and many of them are full of positive life messages. Therefore, parents need to realize this and show their children how to understand such stories, especially when the children are still too young to understand their meaning. Also, it is good to watch cartoons together. This will help the whole family bond and get closer than before.


Cartoons for Children and their positive effects on their growth

Cartoons bring positive benefits to a child’s growth at various linguistic, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical levels. Children improve their language, develop their sensory perceptions, understand more emotions, discover important values, and interact with their favorite characters.


When watching cartoons, children rely on a variety of senses. The brain learns to make connections on its own, leading to better recognition and attention focus. Problem-solving skills are developed, and working memory is improved. When children understand the relationship between the actions and decisions taken by characters and their immediate consequences, they learn to think about the future and care about building a strategy beforehand.


Through cartoon drawings, children can discover new emotions and talents that they can later use in many other contexts.

It helps critical and analytical thinking which leads to brain growth and memory strengthening. Using many abilities at the same time allows for deeper connections and makes learning more realistic. This will encourage lifelong learning.

Pros and cons of cartoons on a child

The strong influence of cartoons on children’s awareness and the growth of their personalities make it a double-edged sword. There are many positive effects of watching cartoons on children, but there are also negative aspects, so we will quickly touch on some of these positives and negatives.


Pros and Cons of Watching Cartoons on Children

The powerful influence of cartoons on children’s awareness and the growth of their personalities makes it a double-edged sword. There are many positive effects of watching cartoons on children, but there are also negative aspects. So, let’s quickly touch on some of these pros and cons.


Positive Effects of Watching Cartoons on Children:

The importance of cartoons for children can be seen through their various positive impacts on a child’s behavior and growth. Here are some of the positive effects that cartoons can have on children:


1- Early Learning Assistance

Cartoons can help children start learning early. The positive impact of cartoons on children is especially evident in educational cartoons that teach shapes, numbers, and colors. These cartoons can teach children basic things in a fun and interactive way, making learning an enjoyable activity.


2- Cognitive Development

Watching cartoons can help develop your child’s cognitive skills. They can also help develop logic and reasoning, visual and auditory processing, and sustained and selective attention.


3- Language Development

Cartoons can expose your children to different languages, thus helping them develop their language skills. Allowing them to watch cartoons in their native language can help them learn the language better, as mentioned earlier with the impact of Spacetoon on strengthening Modern Standard Arabic for many. By watching various cartoons, children can also improve their pronunciation and speech.


4- Boosting Creativity

Watching cartoons helps increase children’s imagination and creativity. They can think of new ideas inspired by specific cartoons and come up with new stories or artworks based on the cartoons they watch.


5- Laughter and Enjoyment

Children find cartoons entertaining and often laugh out loud at the antics of the characters. Laughter is a good way to relieve stress and build confidence.


6- Learning about Different Things

Watching cartoons is a great way to teach your children about local and global habits, traditions, history, and myths. It also gives them information about different countries and cultures they may discover in the future.


Negative Effects of Watching Cartoons on Children:

Despite the many positive effects, there are also some negative aspects of watching cartoons:


1- Exposure to Violence

Some cartoons contain violent scenes that may influence children’s behavior and make them more aggressive.


2- Stereotyping

Cartoons can sometimes promote stereotypes related to gender, race, or culture, which may lead to biased thinking in children.


3- Sedentary Lifestyle

Spending too much time watching cartoons can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which may contribute to obesity and other health issues.


4- Reduced Social Interaction

Excessive cartoon watching can reduce the time children spend interacting with their peers, which can hinder their social skills development.


5- Inappropriate Content

Some cartoons may have inappropriate content, such as foul language or adult humor, which is unsuitable for young viewers.


To minimize the negative effects, parents need to monitor their children’s cartoon-watching habits and choose age-appropriate content with positive messages.


The impact of cartoons on a child’s psychology and behavior is not solely positive or negative. It is a powerful influence that can either develop children’s skills and senses or foster bad behaviors in them. What we can do is monitor the type of cartoons they watch and present cartoons that align with the values and culture we want our children to be raised with.


Also read: Building self-confidence in children.

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