Why My Parents “Sheltered” Me

“Research on violent television and films, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both the immediate and long-term contexts.”

“…it seems clear that exposure to media violence is a risk for aggression. In this vein, the American Academy for Pediatrics (2009, p. 1222) concluded that ‘exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.”

– Psychology A Concise Introduction by Richard A. Griggs

With all the school shootings going on, that really gives you something to think about doesn’t it?

I leave you with this Ted talk by James Bridle.

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2 thoughts on “Why My Parents “Sheltered” Me

  1. Interesting post and one I’ll come back to after watching the full video but as you know my whole approach to parenting has been the complete opposite i.e. Not really sheltering my kids from that much but making sure they know and understand what’s right from wrong.

    Coincidentally we were only just discussing how the one game I didn’t like them playing was “Saint’s Row” because it allowed the characters to plough through pedestrians and just take people out purely for fun. They still find it weird I had a strict rule about that game but it was unnecessarily violent if that makes sense? Call of Duty and similar games were based around a very real scenario of warfare and the kids understood that playing that game wasn’t just about running around shooting and blowing people up.

    When they saw the opening of “Saving Private Ryan” they didn’t like seeing the slaughter of all those guys on the beach which we reminded them IS the reality of games like Call of Duty. They knew the history and were / are surprisingly respectful even during gameplay.

    Driving around pimping up cars and running over pedestrians just didn’t sit well with me which I realise probably sounds ridiculous but it makes sense in my head.

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    1. Everybody has their own style of parenting, and far be it from me to say there’s one right way and one wrong way and try to define what those are. Your children sound like pretty awesome people and I’m sure we would be friends if I lived in the area. But I think it’s a good point to consider that exposure to violence in media can desensitize children to violence, and that unfettered and unsupervised access to the internet can be harmful to them. I wouldn’t actually consider myself sheltered, (hence the quotation marks around the word,) but I was only ever allowed to watch shows/movies and go on websites that my parents designated as a child. They got less and less “strict” according to my age, and then eventually stepped back and let me decide what media I would consume. I do know the sordid stuff that goes on the world now, but I don’t think I needed to as a young child, and personally, I’m glad I didn’t.

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