After seeing today’s news about yet ANOTHER high school shooting, I felt compelled to share some information on children and violence. The future of our children and the society we are creating weighs heavily on my mind.
Children that do not get the needed love, support and guidance during the first few years of life will constantly be seeking attention for the remainder of their life. This can lead to many issues for the child, as they do whatever it takes (good or bad) to feel valued. This feeling of worthlessness leads to inappropriate and high-risk behavior (see below).
I found some information online at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that I wanted to share. This is serious stuff, so I’m not going to have any funny jokes or stories today, just feel the need to share some info….
The following information is copied directly from www.aacap.org:
1. “Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may:
- become “immune” or numb to the horror of violence
- gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
- imitate the violence they observe on television; and
- identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers
- Previous aggressive or violent behavior
- Being the victim of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse
- Exposure to violence in the home and/or community
- Genetic (family heredity) factors
- Exposure to violence in media (TV, movies, etc.)
- Use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Presence of firearms in home
- Combination of stressful family socioeconomic factors (poverty, severe deprivation, marital breakup, single parenting, unemployment, loss of support from extended family)
- Brain damage from head injury”
3. “What are the “warning signs” for violent behavior in children? Children who have several risk factors and show the following behaviors should be carefully evaluated:
- Intense anger
- Frequent loss of temper or blow-ups
- Extreme irritability
- Extreme impulsiveness
- Becoming easily frustrated
Parents and teachers should be careful not to minimize these behaviors in children.”
4. “Can anything prevent violent behavior in children?
Research studies have shown that much violent behavior can be decreased or even prevented if the above risk factors are significantly reduced or eliminated. Most importantly, efforts should be directed at dramatically decreasing the exposure of children and adolescents to violence in the home, community, and through the media. Clearly, violence leads to violence. In addition, the following strategies can lessen or prevent violent behavior:
- Prevention of child abuse (use of programs such as parent training, family support programs, etc.)
- Sex education and parenting programs for adolescents
- Early intervention programs for violent youngsters
- Monitoring child’s viewing of violence on TV/videos/movie”