The television show watched for this paper is that of Spongebob Squarepants. Where it is intended mainly for children, it has inevitably become the favorite of adolescents and young adults, too. However, the main target for the show is that of the children and like any other children shows, it has the purpose of entertaining and in the process, educates children about certain values and behaviors that are likewise absorbed whether it is positive or negative. There are two episodes viewed wherein the first tells the story of Spongebob, Patrick and Squidward getting trapped in an isolated place in Bikini Bottom. As they become isolated in the said place, Spongebob and Patrick continue to rely on what a shell tells them. On the second episode, the three characters experienced snow time in Bikini Bottom and decided to play with the snow with Squidward joining only at the latter part.
In psychological terms, the development of children towards aggressive or violent behavior is called a “conduct disorder” where it “is characterized by more serious and persistently aggressive or violent behavior that is directed toward others” (Flannery, 2006, p. 13). The words spoken by the three characters provoke violent behaviors and are not within what the children normally hear. They constantly fight and physically hurt one another in the two stories. Sometimes, there is also the sense of a disparity within the social relationships formed between the three where someone is excluded or is discriminated.
On the other hand, the concept of prosocial behavior should likewise be noted. The term has been defined to “[refer] to actions that are intended to aid or benefit others without the actor’s anticipation of external rewards” (Hoffman, Gandelman, & Schiffman, 1982, p. 111). There are also events in the show where the characters establish a sense of belongingness as a group. It is important that no matter what happens, they are still able to be there for one another that makes each one feel that they are accepted and welcome even within just a limited sense of the word.
As can be seen from the first episode watched, cliques can be formed where there is the need to pass a requirement before one is accepted into the circle. Children, upon watching the video, may have the notion that it is alright for cliques to be formed and deliberately exclude other people. Likewise, they may find that friendship is founded on particular sets of interest, which can be seen as a positive one. This is because they are able to enhance the things they wanted to do and learn together with other people.
In consideration of both the positive and negative aspects of the television show, I would let my children watch this show but with my guidance. There is the need for further explanation for the events for the children watching it to be properly guided. It is important that the children are able to learn together with their parents if this is the kind of show that is aired on television. There are good episodes that could be taken from the said television show and it could be that this is recommended for the children of other parents but it is necessary for the parents to be there to guide them, too.
Flannery, D. (2006). Violence and mental health in everyday life: Prevention and intervention strategies for children and adolescents. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.
Hoffman, N., Gandelman, R., Schiffman, H. (1982). Parenting: Its causes and consequences. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.