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Parents may end up more stressed when their kids watch a lot of TV


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Parents may end up more stressed when their kids watch a lot of TV

Normally as a parent, we leave our children in front of the tv just to get some time out or to keep then quiet for a short time

However, a study conducted by the University of Arizona has said that this actually can cause more harm than good. The study has shown that hours in front of the tv causes stress for the parents as the children are watching so many adverts and then want what they see.

Television ads: The root of parents’ stress

Advertising on television is there for a reason and one reason only: to sell.

Matthew Lapierre and Eunjoo Choi, researchers of the study, found that children are an easy target for these ads as they would instantly ask their parents to buy anything they find appealing in commercials.

Their findings were based on the survey they conducted including 433 parents of children aged two to 12 years old.

Lapierre says they chose this age range because younger kids are more easily persuaded by ads and often shop with their parents.

The results showed that when parents refuse to buy things for their kids, the child would most likely throw a tantrum until they get what they want.

Researchers have found that this can potentially affect parents’ stress levels.

How television ads lure children to purchasing

Ads aimed at children are typically made to persuade kids to buy their products by using bright colours, upbeat music and flashy characters.

This appeals to children and they would not second guess its intent as at such a young age, they wouldn’t be able to fully understand the purpose of advertising.

“Advertising for kids is generated to makes them feel excited. They do a lot of things in kids’ advertising to emotionally jack up the child,” Lapierre says.

“Children don’t have the cognitive and emotional resources to pull themselves back, and that’s why it’s a particular issue for them.”

The study also said that advertisers have found new creative ways to sell their products on television.

This involves tactics such as product placements and ‘incorporating product or company names into a show’s narrative’ as said in the study.

Ways to discuss shopping with kids

Aside from the obvious solution of limiting screen time, parents might also want to start a conversation about consumerism with their kids.The researchers found three main types of parent-child consumer-related communication to find which one is best to bring up with your child:

  • Collaborative Communication

This involves discussing with your kids on things you buy and asking for their opinion or telling them, ‘I will listen to your advice on certain products or brands.’

  • Control Communication

This is when parents take full control of what they should or should not buy or their kids by saying such things like, ‘Don’t argue with me when I say no to your product request.’

  • Advertising Communication

This gives parents more opportunities to talk with their kids about the ads that they see by saying things such as, ‘Commercials will say anything to get you to buy something.’

The research findings showed that collaborative communication was the best approach parents could use to have less stress on the matter since both control and advertising communication only encourages more purchase initiation from kids.

Asia One

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