In the first part of this two part series, we spoke about TV violence and our children. In this part I would like to discuss violence in the home and our children. Whether we wish to admit it or not, the number one reason that our children repeat actions in public is mainly due to the feeling that if it’s okay in the home then it’s okay every where else. Children do not understand how to separate their actions at home from their actions in the streets. They can learn but that lesson is best taught by those who they have most exposure to and that is not the teachers at school, it’s the adults in the home.
“Current estimates indicate that as many as 10 million children per year may witness or be victims of violence in their homes or that children in communities across the United States are witness to violence at alarmingly high rates.” “A public health problem of tremendous proportions, childhood exposure to violence (CEV) has a devastating impact on children’s development, affecting emotional growth, cognitive development, physical health and school performance.” “CEV has been significantly linked with increased depression, anxiety, anger, and alcohol and drug abuse, and with decreased academic achievement.” “Without intervention, children exposed to violence may suffer long-term repercussions of their exposure, including diminished health and well-being.” “The children, who experience violence, either as victims or as witnesses, are also at increased risk of becoming violent themselves.” “These children are significantly more likely to have involvement with the juvenile justice system, committing crimes at younger ages and nearly twice as often as their peers who have not been similarly exposed to violence.” (Unknown Author, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, Children & Violence, Retrieved from www.nccev.org).
Bottom line the best educators when it comes to violence is the parent. If daddy is always yelling at mother in the home then son and daughter may follow suit. I know this because I have witnessed my younger children treating their mother as they have seen me treat her. Seeing this, I have and still am working on changing that aspect of their development but I need and must start with changing my own behavior first. What we teach our children by our actions or inactions affect them more than any thing that they may encounter later. The effectiveness of saving our children from repeating actions are determined by how quickly we as parents sits down and help them deal with it. Talking them through a TV show is one excellent way to educate them. Making sure to limit if not eliminate the violent nature of ourselves will go a long way in helping our children to limit or eliminate theirs. We are the first and last line of defense against anything that our children will learn as they grow into adulthood. There are plenty of people out there to help but the final and ultimate sin of ignoring our responsibilities as a parent will be our burden to bear and our row to hoe.