Violence, kids, and America

The amount of violence taking place in a young generation is startling. The recent shooting in Florida was horrifying. Although the report of there being 18 school shootings in America in a young 2018 is false (read here), the senseless terror of school shootings has become common. 

People want to scream that banning guns is the solution, rather than join that never ending debate, let's look at something fewer people are talking about. 

All over the world a young and impressionable generation feasts on TV, movies, YouTube, Netflix, popular music, video games, etc...

We have created a society where too many people think that what they see in the media is real life, and what they see in the media is the right way to live their life. This is changing, but most kids and teenagers are so impressionable that they simply don't know better.

We shell out billions and billions of dollars to try and stop violent crimes in this country. Then we allow an absurd amount of blood and violence on regular TV. What do think is going on in the mind a of child or teenager that frequently sees guns, blood, and violence on TV?

"Studies reveal that children watch approximately 28 hours of television a week, more time than they spend in school. The typical American child will view more than 200,000 acts of violence, including more than 16,000 murders before the age 18. Television programs display 812 violent acts per hour; children's programming particularly cartoons, displays up to 20 violent acts hourly." - The Impact of Media Violence On Children And Adolescents 

How much more are these frightening stats enhanced with the addition of Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu? This is not even including that insane amount of violent video games that a younger generation is playing, read here

We as parents need to be more aware of what our kids and teenagers are filling their minds with, let's be actual parents and be aware of what our kids are filling their minds with. We have the right to be in charge of our kids mental consumption under our roofs. We also have the right to speak up about this problem.  

Our government, insurance companies, and or course we the tax payers annually spend hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars to try and combat violent crimes. Has our right to creative freedom locked us in a battle that we created ourselves? 

We allow all sorts of music, TV shows, movies, and glorification of violence to be pumped into the minds of a young and impressionable generation, and then we spend hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars a year to combat the problem with treatment, correctional facilities, and law enforcement agencies. 

Maybe it's time to try a different approach? 

When we speak against violence and then promote musicians whose music promotes drugs, violence, and sex on TV what is the subconscious message we send to kids? We shell out billions of dollars to try and stop a problem after we help create it and promote it. 

The constant debates surrounding this topic are not solving the problem! Common sense says that if what you're doing is not working, it could be time to implement a new solution based approach. Let's get to the root of the problem.

Studies show that kids are most impressionable from the ages of 6-14.

Parents, pay attention to what your kids are watching on TV, YouTube, and what video games you are allowing them to play. Be the one to instigate conversation around violence. Talk to them in a way that shows them that is not normal to have violent thoughts, but if they are having violent thoughts it is ok to talk to you about it. 

Don't be afraid to speak up about the problems with kids being exposed to overloading amounts of violence through media. Let's stop debating the political angle and start addressing the fact that our kids need us to love them and be a safe place for them to air out their emotions and thoughts. 

Violence is not normal. Those behaviors need to be witnessed and taught to kids for it to be normal in their lives. And if we don't be the ones that instigate the conversation surrounding violence with our kids, where will they go and who will they talk to about this rising issue?

You are the safest place they can go to reframe their perspective towards the violence they have seen, and think about. We can not control everything our kids see as they go about their day in this world, but we can surely be aware of what they viewing while they live under our roof. And we can surely be more communicative with them and let them know we are always free to talk to them about tough issues.