Can shows like “Hannah Montana” be a bad influence on younger children?

A lot of moms do not allow their kids to watch, for example, “Hannah Montana” or “High School Musical” or see “Spider Man” or “Harry Potter” because they feel they condone violence/bad values (such as talking back to your parents, lying, cheating, etc.). Can watching these shows/movies be a bad influence on younger children (under 10) and hurt their development and play a factor in how they will deal with society as they grow older?

The problem is not this or that TV show or movie. Children need a role model, and if the parents and other significant adults in the child’s world (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) do not have genuine emotional contact with the child, then he or she will necessarily resort to substitute measures such as television programs, movies, the internet and video games for learning modes of behavior. A healthy relationship, however, between the child and parent, or parent substitute, provides the means for children to differentiate what is shown on TV and elsewhere and what is considered appropriate behavior in the real world. Certainly, viewing gratuitous violence, bad values and obscenity is not desirable, but in many instances these depictions can provide a contactful opening to discuss issues that the child is wondering about and give the parent an opportunity to explain why the anti-social behavior is not acceptable.


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