Kaboom! Car chases with gun firings and aggressive shouts: the masala of current movies! This has burgeoned even to the Rom-Coms and cartoon and animated children based movies. Oh, and not to forget the space combats involving a lot of special effects and neon swords! These movies, designed especially for younger audience propagates more, novel forms of violence. Ever wondered if they are more than just mere entertainment? Previously only intimate scenes constituted to A grade classification of movies, but thankfully now abusive language and action is also considered.
You may consider it normal for your kid to run around the house shooting at every other imaginary infiltrator, however the impact of violence portrayed in movies have far more effects. Read below to gain an insight on the consequences of exposing tots to violent movies:
- The Effects Of Violent Movies On Young Kids
- What Can Parents Do To Save Their Children From Violence?
The Effects Of Violent Movies On Young Kids
Rugged pants, button-open shirt, scars and wounds, pockets holding guns, holsters is what your kid is gauging as a cool image. Thanks to Django Unchained, Batman, Superman and even Harry Potter! The young naive minds of toddlers are particularly affected by bloody violence. This is because, at this young stage, they are unable to distinguish between virtual world and reality. Toddlers love to imitate, and those above the age of 2 have very impressionable minds. TV not only makes a toddler who is supposed to be exploring the world restrictive, but also curbs the creativity level and making them passive. Below are a few consequences of this:
- Desensitization: Young kids see men and cartoon superheroes fighting, bleeding and then getting up again without any hint of pain sneering at the bad guys. They expect the same to happen in real life too. This inspires them to initiate fights with others
- Violence as means to gain approval: Violent scenes depicting fights or pushing others who negate the hero be misinterpreted by toddlers as a way to obtain consent
- Addiction to violence: The researches involving brain imaging techniques have found that violent movies stimulate excitement and thrill and are more adrenaline-pumping. Therefore in the long run, kids tend to watch the violent scenes again and again
- Promotes new ways of thrill: Violent movies may inadvertently promote notorious mischief in young minds as heroes often go unpunished and jeer at authorities. Bullying is something that may be easily picked
- Changes perception of world: On the contrary, some kids may feel timid and shy fearing the bad guys, fights and conspiracies
- Encourages imitation: The most potent source of learning in the young age is imitation. They learn and imitate what they watch. In this case, this is aggression, violence and abuse
- Promotes role play: The kids yearn to act as the Iron Man or Chota Bheem kicking here and there after watching such action movies. You can particularly watch them speeding their bikes and performing “stunts
- Increases aggression: A number of studies have positively linked aggression after watching violent movies
A number of studies have correlated violent scenes with delinquent behavior involving fights. Studies have deciphered that “prolonged exposure of 3+ hours a day is associated with increased criminal convictions and anti-social behavior as kids grow up.”
What Can Parents Do To Save Their Children From Violence?
Of course, it’s inhumane to ban your kids from watching TV or movies, so how can you limit his exposure to violent movies? What happens when you are not around or he has went over for a play date? Below are a few tips to deal with this:
- Be alert: Keep an eye on what your kid watches, reads and plays. It’s perfect to give him company. It also allows you to bond over as well as keep a check on the content and his behavior
- Discuss the content: Its always better to be aware about what your kid feels about the bike gangsters or car actions. You can then always guide him by expressing your feelings
- Watch out for the behavior: Look for any impulsive behavior, throwing things or shouting stuff when playing or watching movies or television serials. If the video content increases your child’s anxiety, then perhaps it’s time to introduce new series to him
- Be smart: Check beforehand the movie your toddler is ranting to watch. You can entice him to other, 3D or 4D movies. Just take along the popcorn and you are ready to rock!
- Limit movies: It’s wise to restrict movie once a month. Your toddler is still too young to comprehend the entire movie!
- Use child lock in TV: Use parental control to lock certain TV channels which broadcast violent and adult content. You may even time-control them such that certain programmes can be watched
- Check what you watch: You are your kids ideal model. If you enjoy bloodshed and gun firings, then he is sure to follow suit!
- Involve family members: If your kiddo has an elder sibling, instruct him not to publicize the thrill of an upcoming hi-fi action movie. Similarly inform others that the kids should not be left alone watching violent stuff on TV
Nowadays, even cartoons are action-packed. Read about how cartoons are rummaging your child’s mind here.Encourage your kid to watch other subtle cartoons such as Doraemon or panchatantra rather than Chota Bheem (he is quite a fighter, eh?). Do not allow your kids to give in to the peer pressure for watching violent movies. Also help them understand that this is just a stress-relieving fad, which does more harm than good.