The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Television is a bad influence on children.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,655 times Debate No: 27715
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Television is a bad influence on children. The world of television teaches children many things that are nonsense and useless in life, we need children spending their time wisely. Do you agree?


No, I don't. In fact, television is (on the whole) good for children, teaching them everything from how to count to how to be a good person. To facilitate children spending their time wisely as my opponent recommends, all countries should (and most do) rate TV shows according to how appropriate they are for children to watch. I say this as somebody who grew up watching all manner of great kids shows that were around then - Sesame Street, Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Yu-Gi-Oh, and countless others. These shows were not only educational, but enjoyable - making learning fun is particularly important for children due to their limited attention spans.

My opponent has the burden of proof in this debate. I will wait for them to make their arguments before I present mine fully.
Debate Round No. 1


I disagree wholeheartedly with your opinion.
Most television shows, including the ones you quoted are not educational, since when did the Powerpuff girls teach us anything?
If you look at the television shows nowadays you will not find much in the way of education. Think about Handy Manny, a television show that teaches that the tools are magical and can sing and talk, they can also talk in Spanish and jump up and fix things when told to.
What about Jungle Junction, a TV program that shows animals scooting round on wheels, talking, singing and playing games, wow now that is what I call educational.
My five year old brother gets bored watching television and complains that the shows are all "the same", good guys win, bad guys lose, everyone lives happily ever after. He thirsts for some decent entertainment, so I tell him to go outside, he agrees and goes and plays happily in the garden.

Sure, it is good for children to use their imagination, but to a certain extent only, it gets to a point where you start to worry and re think letting your child gorge on the sad world of television.


First of all, let me deal with the notion that the Powerpuff girls was not educational. Let me use a few memorable episodes as examples.

In "Lying Around the House", children are taught about lying and how to deal with it.
In "Documentary", children are warned about being too fanatical.
"Equal Fights" was about feminism and the meaning behind the movement.
"Power Prof" was an episode about over-protective parents.
"Down & Dirty" was about the importance of being clean.
"Candy is Dandy" was an episode about drugs.
"Geshundfight" was about underestimating others.
"Major Competition" was, among other things, about jealousy.
"Neighbor Hood" was even an episode about the dangers of television!
Every single episode had a very important and very useful message for kids to take away.

My opponent's main argument appears to be that things have changed. But if you look at what's cool right now, the basic things are still the same - take My Little Pony, the show spawned by much of the same creative team as did the Powerpuff Girls, in which every episode ends with an even more overt message, usually written by one of the characters in a letter that is conveniently read aloud to the viewer. Or perhaps Ben 10, which deals with much the same themes (such as confronting fears and abusive parents). Or Adventure Time, which deals with such diverse themes as rejection and laziness.

Let's use my opponent's example though - Handy Manny. For sure, the toys can talk, but that's just for entertainment value. The messages come from the plots, which are not poorly done. To quote, "Handy Manny projects a strong feel of community and kindness and is rich in both appearance and character... Through fixing things and solving problems, Manny and his family of tools set an example of confidence in facing new challenges and of thinking through possible solutions to figure out what to do. Viewing children will also see many examples of positive interpersonal relationships and how it is important to work together." (

Not to mention the fact that speaking in Spanish has the fairly obvious educational value of teaching kids Spanish - a concept which, incidentally, has borrowed from another successful series, Dora the Explorer. Tools on the show may be magical, but more important is the lesson that they are USEFUL, a concept used time and time again on the show. The overall message of the series as a whole seems to be the whole Thomas the Tank Engine mantra of being a "good and useful engine".

Turning now to Jungle Junction, again, there are no shortages of messages in the episodes. The very first episode, "Bungo To The Rescue", deals with jealousy - the second, "Pinky Picnic", deals with problem solving (much like another show, Blues Clues) - the third, "The Big Race Around", is about both how to overcome obstacles and competition. I could easily go on, but you get the point.

Naturally these themes are not the most intensive philosophical messages you've ever heard, but that is because my opponent has picked two shows aimed at preschoolers.

The other part of my opponent's case is that TV is boring because my opponent's brother said so. First of all, children's books or other media are even more boring and have exactly the same problems. Non-media, like playing outside (for those who actually have houses), teaches kids different things - like the value of exercise and teamwork - but that is niether mutually exclusive with the messages TV teaches nor the same. Besides, often kids can't be supervised outside, or it's raining and kids need to be entertained indoors. Third, I'd suggest your brother watches more advanced shows. My absolute favorite episode of any cartoon ever is the one where Yugi from Yugioh is defeated by Dartz. The good guys lose, the bad guy wins, and everything is screwed up. In fact, Yugioh was a cartoon that broke that mold quite frequently. Courage, another cartoon I referenced earlier, was really good in that it often had ambiguous endings, with both good and bad outcomes from what went on in the show. Fourth, your brother isn't a great authority. I have a half-brother the same age and he loves watching TV as often as possible.

This debate is about whether we should accept writing staff, who spend their entire lives dedicated to working out ways to communicate good messages in an entertaining format, can actually do their jobs competantly. Writing for television isn't easy, but those who do it have done a pretty good job. My opponent needs to show why all of these shows, despite being written with clear educational objectives, are a bad influence on children.

The motion falls.
Debate Round No. 2


You obviously watch a a lot of Disney junior!


One would have thought my opponent would watch it even more with their brother. I just remember shows from my youth because as I said, they taught me a lot of very valuable lessons. I have some familiarity with more modern shows because I studied marketing at university, and these shows have very good examples of it.

Point being, my opponent has failed to meet their burden of proof. The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by emj32 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never upheld any BoP, never really defended any of her original arguments, and i'm pretty sure she conceded at the end?