The following essay is what I wrote as an writing assignment for an English school AEON:
Topic: What kind of TV programs should children watch or not watch?
For this topic, an old episode in China related to the mother of the famous Chinese philosopher Mensius (372–289 BC or 385–303 or 302 BC) could be a good reference. During raising and teaching him, she changed residences three times. At first, the mother and Mensius as a kid were living in the vicinity of some graves. The young Mensius always emulated some rituals of funerals as a play. Then the mother changed their residences to a place close to a big market. Mensius then started to mimick actions of merchants such as counting money. The mater decided to change their dwellings again, this time next to a school. At last, Mensius started to learn mimicking students in the school and he later became a famous philosopher of Confucianism. The lesson of this episode is that kids can be easily affected by both good and bad things or environments.
From this viewpoint, we can easily conclude that we should give only good and some educational TV programs to our kids. This approach, however, is easy to say but hard to do. In my childhood, there was no smartphone nor the Internet. Nowadays, most children are given their own smartphones. They can watch anything in YouTube or in some other video distributing services. It is true that there are some “parental control” software to limit the range of the contents on the Internet for children. The problem is, however, that recent kids are all born to be users of smartphones and they are usually more proficient in utilizing the equipment than their parents. It may be easy for them to unlock the parental control software without being noticed by their parent.
Another factor you should consider is that it is very important for kids to watch the same programs as their friends, otherwise they might be excluded from the circle of daily talks with their friends. Thus, some famous TV programs at that age, even though they are somewhat vulgar, should be allowed to kids to some extents. In my personal experiences, the reason I became a big fan of comic and animation is because my father did not allow me to read comics and to watch animation so often at home. That was a clear backlash.
There is no clear conclusion for this essay, but it is no use to worry about the possible future of your kids. They are usually not so foolish as you may think, and they will soon be able to select suitable TV programs by themselves.