Children's Television Is A Nightmare

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Children's Television Is A Nightmare
TheBabyWebsite has found that millions of youngsters are suffering from telly-induced nightmares.

Over 70 per cent of parents of children under the age of seven said their offspring had regular nightmares because of programmes like Ben 10 and the Power Rangers!

Our poll of 3,000 parents with children under the age of seven highlighted that parents are blaming broadcasters for being too lenient about what is shown on children's television - claiming many of the programmes are overly violent and aggressive. Two thirds of parents admit they have a hard time deciding which programmes are suitable for their children and admit their children often watch television with their hands over their eyes.

But parents are agreed that so-called family entertainment shows such as Doctor Who, Primeval and Robin Hood should be shown AFTER the watershed.

We say that:
"All children suffer from nightmares at some point during childhood, but there is no doubt that viewing unnecessary violence and hostility on television contributes to this. There is a great uncertainty about what to allow children to watch - on the one hand you want them to be accepted by their peers and be able to join in conversations, but on the other you want to protect them from growing up too fast and suffering with nightmares.'

Parents are voting with their remotes and steering their young children away from Power Rangers - labelling it too violent with fast paced action which hypes up the children. Ben 10 also received criticism for inducing nightmares, being unpleasant and aggressive.

Children are being forced to switch channels when Hannah Montana is aired, as parents' fear she encourages children to grow up too quickly and prompts too many questions.

Doctor Who is disliked by many because it is too dark and sinister for under seven-year-olds, whilst Primeval is considered far too scary and frightening.

And Britannia High, which is aired at tea time on CITV, is another programme which glamorizes growing up, encouraging children to wear make up and dress beyond their years.

More than half of those polled agreed that as well as inducing nightmares, much of children's television encourages bad behaviour.

Three quarters of parents would welcome more guidance from television broadcasters, and age certificates being shown before a programme is aired.

TheBabyWebsite editor, Kathryn Crawford said: "We've come a long way with children's television viewing - long gone are the days of gentler programmes such as Bagpuss, Jackanory and Muffin the Mule."

"We think that back in the 50's there was a lot more guidance from broadcasters about the suitability of children's programmes - they had Watch With Mother banners, and For the Children branded programmes. Today, children's television content on commercial free-to-air television is now regulated by the Children's Television Standards (the CTS) and the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice (the Code)."

"However, parents are left to regulate what their child watches, how much they watch and when. This means they would at least need to consult a TV guide to find out which programmes are classed as C band - suitable for all children, and P band - suitable for pre-school children."

But TheBabyWebsite poll reveals parents don't have time to monitor what their children are watching minute by minute, and 70 per cent readily admit they leave their children watching television whilst they make the dinner or get things ready in another room.

MOST UNSUITABLE TV PROGRAMMES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 7 YEARS OLD

Primeval
Terrifying futurist creatures chasing humans deemed too scary and frightening for kids

Doctor Who
The time-travelling doctor's battles with aliens, daleks and cyber-men causes nightmares; too dark and sinister

Power Rangers
The colourful costumed heroes jump from one violent action packed fight to another; too fast paced and brutal for children

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The sword wielding turtles battle against petty criminals and alien enemies, but are considered rude, cheeky and unpleasant by parents

Ben 10
Ben can transform into alien life forms to fight evil, but is also open to mischievous behaviour. Generally unpleasant viewing, aggressive and causes nightmares.

Britannia High
The dance school encourages children to grow up too quickly and prompts too many questions.

Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids
The adaptations of the children's series often focus on naughty children learning a lesson for being badly behaved, but parents worry the programmes give their children bad ideas.

Robin Hood
The adventures of Robin Hood are deemed brutal, aggressive and encourage dishonesty.

Hannah Montana
The teenage girl who lives a double life as a pop star encourages children to grow up too quickly, and answer parents back.

Horrid Henry
The horrible boy, who taunts his parents and friends with nasty tricks, encourages bad behaviour, cheeky attitude and answering back.

May 12 2009

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