Media Violence and Its Effects to Children’s Behavior

Media violence is not new especially to those who are keen on watching television, listening to radio, reading newspapers and surfing the Internet. With the progress of communication and technology, they have become more accessible and convenient to all people especially, children.

Sad to say, it is now easy and convenient for children to obtain information including videos and images about the violence around the world. All media outlets are broadcasting even the most violent and dangerous news without hesitation and sometimes with superficial warning.

What are the effects of media violence on children’s behavior?

Many children in the country have easy access to gadgets. While parents and guardians are very careful in supervising what their children are watching, playing and reading, there are still some who get away with it. There are numerous instances where parents cannot keep track and filter their children’s screening time all day long.

One way or another, while your children are watching television or surfing the Internet there will be scenes that hinted with violence. It could be a cat and mouse trying to hurt or kill each other or superheroes planning revenge against a villain. Even if these shows are safe and kid-friendly, there are actions that will open the eyes of your children about violence.

Leading therapists and psychologists all agree that violence children see in the media have an effect on their behavior. Studies show that an American child spends three to five hours a day watching television. It is found out that television shows for children have 25 violent acts per hour. This goes to show that an average child witnesses 8,000 acts of killing by the end of elementary school.  

1. Aggression

Children imitate what they see. They do not always listen to what their parents see but they will always copy what they see in their parents and friends. This is a very crucial fact about parenting. This is the reason why parents are encouraged to surround their children in a peaceful and calm environment.

However, as children grow up it is not easy for parents anymore to monitor their every move. This is the time children are exposed to media violence. It could be through their social media accounts, Internet videos and games and through their favorite superhero movies.

Children will see how people behave aggressively towards other people. This comes to worse when this aggressiveness will result in violent behaviors. Without proper guidance by parents, children will see this as a normal behavior that when someone hurts someone then it is okay to hurt them as well. They will perceive it as defending themselves or saving someone in need.  

2. Fear

Not all children take media violence lightly or view it as an everyday happening. Some children become fearful and traumatized by what they see on television and on the Internet. They are afraid to go out or even socialize with other people because of their notion that they will be in danger.

There are children who refuse to even go to school. Their minds are telling them that the world is full of violence and dangerous people. This develops certain phobias like being murdered or a victim of a crime, meeting new people or being in a new place.

Along with these fears, children are more vulnerable to suffer from anxiety and depression. Since they cannot openly express their feelings or even understand them, they isolate themselves from the people around them.

3. Desensitization

When children are overly exposed to media violence, they become less shocked to any violent acts and insensitive to the pain of others. When these happen, they think that the people who are hurt deserve what happens to them and they do not earn sympathy.

This is what scares many parents – children who are immune to media violence. Because there is a heavy presence of media violence even in games, children tend to overlook the value of empathy. Their brains are wired to think that violence happens anymore so it is better to accept it and be okay with it.

Though there is still a part of them that knows violence is wrong, they still find it enjoyable to play brutal games or watch violent videos.

What should parents do?

Parents fear that their children will grow up to this kind of world where violence becomes inevitable and an everyday scenario. Television news shows shootings in schools and in different public spaces. Movies display violent behaviors as an acceptable act as long as it is for the greater good. The Internet is flooded with videos, images and games that initiate aggression and fear.

Parents are expected to protect their children from any form of media violence. However, there are still children who are exposed to this. As parents, when you see that your children keep on playing and watching violent videos, it is time to stop this. Be strict and be firm to what they are doing even if it means lessening their screen time.

If you see any changes in their behavior and attitude, be alert and observe them intensely. When you sense that something is wrong, get help right away. It is always better to ask the help and guidance from trusted therapists and psychologists to have a better understanding of what is going on.

Mindshift Psychological Services offer the help you need for your children. If you see that your children are likely to suffer from depression, the center provides Depression Therapy near me. They also offer Family Therapy near me that will help you and the whole family on how to handle the situation. Other services include Psychotherapy for Individuals, Anger Management and Trauma Therapy near me.

Their services are open for residents in Riverside, California, Corona, California and Los Angeles California. You may schedule an appointment through their website or contact them at (714) 584-9700.