I often write about reasons why children, especially from age zero to 11, are highly discouraged from watching TV or movies. I remain that for TV and cinemas, the content is not the main concern. The medium itself is the problem. This time though, allow me to discuss a certain content in the news from the national TV.

A few months ago, I happened to watch news on the TV, in times for the entertainment segment. The reporter talked about the fight scenes of beautiful actresses and how they are so good in slapping each other. It seemed comic but my thoughts went all out the children who may be watching. Yes, they seemed comic, but it also seemed to be heralding the acts.

How would a child process a scene where beautiful ladies are set out to hurt each other? I have mentioned in my previous articles how a child from age nine below would easily imitate the actions of adults, may it be at home or in school, and even on TV. The children will always think that the actions of adults are worthy of emulating. They will never question adults, they will only watch and emulate. I cannot help but wonder what does the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) think to allow these things to run on air. I also wonder what the people behind these shows think that they afford to create these types of scenes for the masa. Perhaps the MTRCB thinks that the filtering of these messages from media boils down to the parents. And maybe the people behind these shows also think that the MTRCB is responsible for “regulating” these things.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. Bottom line: We are all accountable in protecting the senses of the children. It is a lame excuse to pass on the responsibility to others when we are in the position to do something that will either hurt or better the next generation. The people behind these series must think, so should the MTRCB. This does not excuse the parents and the adults at home, too. Why do we seem to think that our actions will not have synchronistic effects to our society, most especially to our children?

It should be a wakeup call to us that this society seems to be celebrating rivalries and catfights. Is this the type of society that we want the children of our children to inherit? What do these scenes on TV tell us? That it is a reality? That women really do that to each other. Are we bound to make the young ones believe that using our hands to hurt somebody because of antipathy is a good thing to do?

Our children and the rest of the future generations deserve better than these things. They deserve to know and be assured of what is good, what is beautiful, and what is true. If during their childhood, we allow them to be exposed to these scenes in the media, we will be telling them something that may cause detriment to their human capacities and may hamper their growth.

This is a call to everyone who may read this. Even when you do not have a child of your own, it is still your task to uphold the virtues that a child will emulate. Why? Because children see it everywhere. They have this very watchful eye to the world and they always want to be us. So, please whatever you’re doing, know that this affects the children and the world, in one way or another. This is a call to the people in the media and to the policymakers: Please, let us save the senses of our children. When you approve policies, think about the children as the next in line for the humanity, not just as the carrier of your genes.

To the parents: Please do not expose your very young children to TV, even with you around. There will be time for that when they’re older. This is no longer about who’s the better parent or whose child is going to win. This is about our children who will take on the burden or the beauty of this world.

We need to understand what these things from external messages tell us. Even more so, we need to understand the messages we bring when we go out to the world. If we are to do something, let it be because we care for the wellbeing of our children. And not only for our short-term whims.

Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother of two and a nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments. and suggestions, please feel free to email her at socojoanmae@yahoo.com or visit Tuburan Institute at www.tuburaninstitute.org.

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