The Effects of Television Violence on Children
What is the world coming to? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, at home, and now more increasingly at schools across the country. For many children the source of violence is right in their own living rooms. Violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results. Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The research proves time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand.
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In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television. These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect the child. It must be pointed out that children watching violent television directly caused all of these situations.
Not only does television violence affect the child's youth, but it can also affect his or her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult.
Television violence can destroy a young child's mind. The effects of this violence can be long lasting, if not never-ending. For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a child's mind, an insidious influence tat upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. Other see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a child's learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and writing. As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child's learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake. Children of today are the future leaders of tomorrow. We owe it to them to see to it that they are given every opportunity to become successful adults.