Recently, I saw an article said, “Many parents avoid their children watching TV”, and suddenly there was a very funny picture coming up on my mind.
I imagined the parents try to hide themselves each time their children are watching TV. I thought the author actually means, “Many parents prevent their children from watching TV”, but I did find some sentences with similar structure from the Internet, such as “that are specially designed to avoid children watching the uncensored sites”, “that can avoid children watching the violence, sex scenes”….
Can we use “avoid ” the same way with “prevent”? Do they all have the same meaning? In my opinion, “avoid” sounds you run away from a bad situation so you can be safe, but “prevent” sounds you use you force to stop a bad situation. Although the result is the same (you can be safe), but the processes are pretty much different.
And also about the two sentences "that are specially designed to avoid children watching the uncensored sites", "that can avoid children watching the violence, sex scenes". I think "avoid" here is right, because these "violence, sex scenes" are cut off by someone so they "get away from children" . However, "Many parents avoid their children watching TV".... parents do not get away from children, but they force their children not to see TV, right? So here is better to use "prevent", right?