Violence. It’s literally everywhere: in video games, movies, books, music videos, and cartoons, on the nightly news and the Web, and even in commercials. And it’s becoming harder to avoid. Today, with the explosion of technology and 24/7 media access, the question more than ever is, what’s the impact, especially on our kids?
The short answer is: We don’t know. Although experts agree that no single factor can cause a nonviolent person to act aggressively, heavy exposure to violent media can be a risk factor for violent behavior. Children who are exposed to multiple risk factors — including aggression and conflict at home — are the most likely to behave aggressively.
Heavy exposure to violent media can lead to desensitization, too. And it may actually start with parents. A study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania found that parents who watched a lot of movies were more likely to say it was OK for younger kids to watch movies that had R-rated violence and sexual content.
The good news is that, as parents, we can make a choice to consistently expose our kids to media that reflects our own personal values and say “no” to the stuff that doesn’t. The number one influence on kids’ media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media. There are so many benefits to media and technology, including the potential to teach valuable skills. Doing research about TV shows, movies, or games before your kids watch, play, and interact with them will go a long way in helping them avoid iffy stuff.
So how can you as a parent manage media violence in your kids’ lives?
Attend this workshop on April 13th to get some tips!
Please join us for a workshop with Dr. Jill Alberts Psy.D. on the following topic
“Helping Kids Cope with Violence in the News”
Dr. Jill Alberts, Psy.D. is a psychologist in private practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She specializes in areas affecting children and families including anxiety/depression, learning disorders, trauma, loss and divorce. Her practice is informed by more than 10 years as a school psychologist in independent and public schools where she facilitated many groups for parents and students. Dr. Alberts supervises other therapists and is a faculty instructor in the Child and Adolescent Program of the Metropolitan Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Over the course of her career Dr. Alberts has also worked with community agencies on initiatives related to early childhood development, adolescent health, child abuse, trauma and parent guidance.
Passes are going home tomorrow for easy entry to the building.