One question that is often asked by parents is that whether it is okay for kids to watch wrestling on TV. Although we adults know that this is pure entertainment, would children understand that what they’re watching is just for fun?
Just my personal take on this, I would say that there is no real value or lesson to learn watching wresting. Some would say that it is okay for kids to watch combat sports as long as there is adult supervision, but I don’t agree to this. Perhaps, teens can better comprehend that these are staged shows but four-year-old or even nine-year-old tots cannot distinguish fiction from reality.
Take time to watch a wrestling match on television. Aside from violence, these shows seem to promote themes of sex, racial discrimination, profanity, and even drug use. Are these good examples? Would these themes benefit our kids? Yes there may be fun, excitement and all but the pervading adult themes are something that is hard for kids to digest. It also helps to have viewer discretion warnings but in most cases children are left to watch alone without the supervision of an adult.
Probably combat sports like boxing and MMA are more civil and tame than wresting. These sports adhere to rules and regulations. You also get a peek at the athletes training – practicing on a grappling dummy (such the one on this site) or doing sparring sessions.
Aside from my pure personal views, studies have shown that violence on television does have a negative effect on kids and the way they act and think. And in fact, this is true not only for young children but adults as well. Experts say that children, especially on their formative years, learn from both social learning (role modeling) and experience. Therefore, if children are allowed too much exposure on such themes on television, they will have a difficult time differentiating what is reality and fiction, and would tend to copy what they’re seeing.
In the same vein, I also do not recommend giving our kids action figures of wrestling icons or even paraphernalia as it would reinforce the negative values and lessons that they get watching wrestling. These values are not the ones that you want to instill in your kid’s young mind.
According to some experts, exposing children to too much violence at an early age may promote negative values like resorting to aggressive values in conflict resolution, lack of empathy, bullying, sadistic behavior, poor social relationship and being too argumentative. Child development experts have also noted that those children oriented to violence on television are more reactive than proactive. They seem to have a strong sense of entitlement.
Finally, when children are left to watch endless hours of unreasonable violence, they can become desensitized to violent behavior – either as an observer or a perpetrator of violence. Having said that, it would be wise to take away these unhealthy television shows from your children’s viewing habits.