The use of media can be very entertaining, especially for children. However, unlike adults who have a clear understanding of what is right and wrong, children still have a hard time grasping these things and, as such, cannot be exposed to certain immoral behaviors, so they don’t deem them normal.
Many modern shows are usually rated PG, which means that such shows are not suitable for a child under 18, especially without parental guidance.
It is dangerous for a child to be allowed to watch shows where violence is the order of the day or sexual acts are being performed.
The major effect is that if exposed to violent media, your child will begin to see violence as normal and may even begin to engage in those sexual acts which are inappropriate for their age.
Prevention is always better than cure. However, as parents, you cannot always vouch for your child and what they watch. Hence, some children get exposed to and become addicted to violent media without their parent’s knowledge.
Violent media here can include dramas with scenes of violence, domestic abuse, murders, and rape, as well as games and video clips that negatively affect a child’s reasoning.
In a situation where you notice your child is exposed and addicted to violent media, here are certain things you can do :
- If the child in question is still very small, immediately cut them off from that show or game. As a parent, you still have significant control over your minor, hence utilize such control and cut them off from the violent media. Take it further and ban other shows or games with similar themes.
- The next step is to talk to your child about the disadvantages of such media. This is because, while you may have stopped them from watching, you can’t erase the memory from their mind or say for sure that they don’t practice what they have seen so far.
- Teach the consequences of any action carried out. For example, if hurting someone else, they will be punished, and if it’s very severe that it may lead to bodily harm, they may be arrested and jailed.
- Introduce other types of media that are useful for your child. This helps distract them from harmful media as it occupies their mind and gives them something else to focus on. Examples are documentaries, non-violent games, books, children’s shows, comedy shows not rated PG, etc.
- Pay attention to your child and build a strong and loving relationship with them. This helps your interaction as a family and makes your parenting easy. Where there is love and understanding, it is easy to guide your child on what not to do and be sure they’ll obey you.
- Introduce other nonmedia activities, such as planting trees, cooking, baking, telling stories, playing board games, etc.
Exposure to violent media and sexual acts is often a result of bad or neglectful parenting. This is not to invalidate the struggles of parents that deal with stubborn children.
As a parent, you must take it upon yourself to raise your child in a way that causes them to grow up as useful and respected members of society.
Exposure to violent media affects the whole community and not just your child. This is because your child needs people to perform those learned bad habits, and innocent community members are at the receiving end of such learned habits. Such a child becomes a bully, sexual harasser, or violent criminal.
Let us all be good parents who pay extra attention to our kids and the media they consume.