Assalamalkyum, First, I am not an Islamic scholar. I am merely a Muslim momma who is trying to raise kids as close to the deen of Allah as possible! JazzarakAllah
Okay, so should your children watch television????
This is a tricky question and one that took us awhile to navigate but ultimately in our household we decided that having a television went against our Islamic values and here is why-
1) CONTENT Just because a show is labeled for children doesn't mean it promotes values that align with our core Islamic beliefs. A few quick examples that come to mind are Moana, Frozen, and even Smurfs. In Moana, it is taught that a god created the entire earth and mankind and has catchy songs teaching that a "god" created the universe. Frozen teaches children that humans have supernatural powers and Smurfs promotes magic. All of these things while cute and catchy promote beliefs that do not align with the core values in Islam. In my humble opinion, these films contradict our shahda (the belief that there is One God, Allah). Furthermore, Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that within prime time "family hour" television shows 75% of the content referenced sex in some way, shape, or form. While 60% of the content shows sexual behavior.
2) ADDICTION Television is extremely addictive for young children because their brains are not yet prepared to self-regulate their emotions or desires. A report by KFF found that children spend 4-5 hours DAILY watching television and this can influence the way they think and their beliefs. This can lead to other addictions later in life, obesity, and even delayed speech.
3) Advertisements and consumerism We never actually had cable television but had Netflix for the small period of time that we didnt have a television. The main reason we selected Netflix over cable TV during that time period was due to the sheer amount of advertisements that are geared towards children on cable television networks. Advertisement agencies spend millions upon millions of dollars yearly to generate catchy ads to convince children and their parents that they need specific toys, foods, and other items, which are usually junk.... (Im sorry, its true) Your child will grow up perfectly fine without all of the newest fad toys that usually made out of plastic which break quickly and pollute our earth. Your child will grow up perfectly fine without processed junk food that is full of preservatives, sugar, and other unnatural ingredients. So just be on the look out for these advertisements and their hidden messages and really meditate on whether or not you need them in your household.
These are just three small reasons we decided to ditch our television. We just felt that it no longer served us in our household and basically began realizing that it went against our core beliefs as Muslims.
JazzarakAllah and please comment and share your opinions and thoughts!