Why I don't let my daughter watch Hindi serials and reality TV shows
Effects of reality TV shows and Hindi serials on kids can be drastic. Here's why you should not let your child watch them too!
I have told you before that I had taken a decision of not letting my daughter watch TV in 2016. Especially cartoons that used bad language and meaningless plots. This was because I wanted to shield her from the harmful effects of reality TV shows, daily soaps, serials and cartoons.
But that was when my daughter was like any other three or four-year-old girl who would listen to her mother to say. Now that she is a six-year-old girl she wants to watch whatever the family watches.
In fact, she takes a keen interest in each and everything that we consume. And there is no way in which I can control her habits or stop her from doing what she wants.
Effects of reality TV shows and Hindi serials
However, before we get to the bad points, let me tell you that I am not anti-TV. I do believe that there is a lot of educative and informative content out there as well that can benefit your kids in more ways than you can imagine.
For example, there are quite a few shows based on wildlife, educative content that push your child to think. Then there are shows on games and sports and cultures around the world that expose your child to a new world. They can do wonders for your child's imagination and creativity!
But that's not how it is in Indian our homes, right? Let's not forget that our kids watch whatever we watch. And, in that process end up watching a lot of content that's meant for adults and not children.
Yes, we're talking about especially Hindi serials and reality TV shows. In fact, in this age of Netflix and web series, television still remains the prime entertainer for the middle-class Indian family.
Real VS reel
And while I have no offence to the people who watch them, for whatever reasons, let's admit that most of them and not fit for a child's consumption. We might tell our child time and again that it's just fiction and not real, the fact is a small child is not mature enough to differentiate between real and reel.
Here's how Hindi serials and reality TV shows are affecting your child:
1. They show a lot of negativity in the family unit: In Hindi soaps especially, one family member or the other is constantly shown scheming or plotting against another.
While you keep telling your child that they are only acting up, somewhere their mind absorbs all that they are watching. The numerous saas-bahu daily soaps are full of such content.
Some shows even go to the extent of plotting or planning a murder or an injury for a family member, which is outrageous! Imagine what all your child is learning from them.
2. Exposure to sex and vices: Family shows these days are full of first-night and love-making scenes, which exposes your child to sex at an early age. While there is no harm in watching that, the over-the-top picturisation and exaggeration is something that is to be blamed.
Scenes that involve alcohol usage or foul language such as Bigg Boss would make your child think that it is okay to behave like this in real life as well. On the other hand, reality shows based on adventure and action sports might encourage your child to do dangerous stunts alone, even though they have warnings written all over. But have you ever thought that your child is too small to read them?
3. Introduce them to the world of make-believe: Half of the Hindi TV serials today are based on reincarnation, coming back to life after death, ghosts, naags and naagins, which is all make-believe.
This would not only make your child believe in them but would also give them a distorted view of the world. What's more, they might even get scared and get nightmares!
4. Exposes them to unwanted ads and commercials: It's all business for television channels, but for your child, it's an ad that asks them to eat a particular biscuit to be healthy. In a way, it is an encouragement to eat something that is processed and unhealthy.
Next, you know, they might even demand it when you're at the grocery store! Besides, there are many other ads that talk about condoms, menstruation that might not be appropriate for them.
5. They are regressive: Like it or not, most Hindi TV serials still portray the normal Indian woman in a bad light. Someone who is supposed to be the caretaker of the family, listen to the taunts of all the family members including in-laws and be in the kitchen 24X7.
While there are some shows that are breaking the stereotype, to be honest, they are just a handful. This is something that I find totally unacceptable, as a woman and a working mother.