Importance of TV Parental Guidelines

TV Parental Guidelines

TV Parental guidelines entails two significant elements namely: an aged, based rating that provides guidance for the age group for which a program is appropriate and content descriptors indicating that a program may contain suggestive dialogue, coarse or crude language, sexual situation or violence.

They are  television rating system in the United States first proposed to be adopted in December 19th 1996 by the Congress of the United States, the television industry and the Federal Communication Commission.

It was finally effected on 1st January 1997 on most major Cable and broadcast networks in response to the yearnings of the public to the approximately increasing explicit sexual content, graphic violence, and strong profanity in television programs.

It was established as a voluntary participation system with ratings to be determined by individually participating broadcast and cable networks.

The ratings are usually generally attached to major television series, television films and edited broadcast or basic theatrically cable versions of movies released.

Ratings are also usually assigned according to Parental TV guidelines especially on movies that has been released theatrically or on home video either if the Motion Pictures Association of America didn’t not assign a rating for the film or if the channel airs an unrated version of a film.

These ratings were usually built up to be used by the v-chip which was mandated to be built into all television sets manufactured since the year 2000 (and the vast majority of cable/ satellite boxes).

But these guidelines themselves have no legal implications and are not in any way applicable to news or sports programs during commercial advertisements.

Many online television services such as Hulu, Amazon Video, and Netflix also make use of these guideline systems along with digital video vendors such as iTunes stores, Google play store, and digital media players including the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and Roku platforms.

Positive impact of the TV on the child

The television is not considered bad when the right programs and content are exposed to the child. Your child can learn useful things through the TV.

Recent research shows that watching the TV can have a vast positive impact on the child. It can help them develop positive attitudes and turn away from other societal misbehaviors.

The following are some positive attributes the TV can have on the child.

Educational content

Some television channels are dedicated to providing educational and informative contents for the audience especially the children. Sesame Street could be considered as one of the examples.

This program is usually targeted at the preschoolers. There are other channels which broadcast only educational contents covering areas like arts, crafts, geography and math.

The TV is also a platform that exposes children to different languages and cultures around the world. Giving your children access to watching news channels with a little guideline will enable them stay up to date on recent events and happenings in the world.


The beautiful sounds and colorful sounds appeal more to children and also retain their attention. From movies to cartoon shows, there are several programs that keep the children’s attention engaged.

However, it is important as a parent to make sure that the TV program they are allowed to watch is appropriate for their age and level of understanding.


It is advisable as a parent to allow your children watch sports like tennis, baseball, soccer, basketball by watching along with them. Educate them about the gameplay, rules and regulations amongst all other things. If they develop interest in any of the sports, kindly give them the opportunity to play and try out their best.

Exposure to different cultures

The TV can enable your kids to learn about other countries and teach them and educate them on the various cultures and traditions present in the world. Like we have the Arewa fishing festival in Nigeria, which takes place yearly, we have eating competitions and many others in the world.

Television might inspire

TV programs targeted at children and adolescents are not educational but also very inspiring. TV programs with educational contents encourage children to try new things.

For instance, a TV programs about creative fun can encourage the child to try something new with Clay, paints, or paper.

Likewise, a documentary about popular scientists, artists and other public figures can also inspire them to do good deeds or achieve something big in life.

3D TV and programs

The way we experience the TV has largely been changed through the help of the 3D imaging technology. 3D television programs and movies offer an enhance TV experience for children.

Although the popularity of the 3D TV had been on the decline in the past. There are still network programs offering educational programs with the 3D technology.

The American Optometric Association has stated that 3D can be viewed by children. If your kids are having troubles watching with this, you can consult a professional medical expert for counseling.

However, your kids can only derive benefits from watching TV or on the internet if only you guide them appropriately.

Negative effects of TV on the children

The television also affects the children negative. And the negative effects sometimes outnumber the positive impacts. The following are some of the ways the TV can have a negative effect on the child.

Curbs physical activity

Addiction to TV shows a reduction in the amount of physical activity of the child. Sometimes they refuse to do anything else with their time apart from watching TV and playing video games.

Impacts on social development

Children who watch a lot of TV hardly have time to play or socialize. Less or no interracial relationship with peers can affect their social development.

TV eats up the time they should ordinarily have used to interact and socialize with other children. This may at a long run affect their level of social interactions and development.

Affects brain development and behavior

TV programs may be considered very educative but excesses of it may affect the child’s brain development. According to studies, the first couple of years in your child’s age is very important for the brain development of your child.

And too much of TV watching may lower the cognitive abilities related to short-term memory, early reading, math skills and language development.

Exposure to vices

You may not always always be able to control what your children watch due to work and other busy schedules and this may expose the kids to many social vices such as alcoholism, sexual immorality and many other things.


Another bane of television is consumerism. The number of adverts a child see on the TV exposes them to a variety of brands and products that they may not need.

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