Kids are confronted with images and discussions of violence on a regular basis. Whether from the news, video games, or other kids, there’s a high chance your child is exposed to many violent concepts.
While there is a lot of good in the world, constant exposure to violence can be harmful to kids.
As a parent, you know you can never fully shield your child from violence, but you also want to ensure they have a healthy environment for development.
Here’s some advice on how to protect kids from the violence around them.
How Violence Affects Kids
Violent images affect kids differently based on their stage of development. Young kids under the age of 6 typically do not understand the meaning of violent media, but it still scares them. At this stage, it’s best to limit the exposure to these images as much as possible. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 “lack the depth of consequences.” WebMD suggests that parents should discuss the images and what they mean based on the child’s question. For teens, parents must be directly involved. They should discuss the news and media together and talk about ways to help.
Tips for Protecting Kids from Violent Images
- Reduce exposure to violence, especially for young children. Save the news for when they are in bed and do not watch violent movies or shows in front of them.
- Talk about fears with your child. Children all react differently, so it’s important to assess your child’s response when they do see violent images.
- Create a secure environment. Maintain a secure home environment so that children feel like their home is a safe place.
- Have an open dialogue. As your child gets older and is exposed to violent images at school or from friends, be there for them. Be open and willing to talk about the images and what causes the violence.
- Put violence into perspective. Yes, there is danger and violence in the world, but there is also a lot of good.
- Address violence. Empower your child to make the world a better place. Think about ways you can help reduce violence or suffering in your community by donating or volunteering.
Violent images are in TV shows, movies, video games, and all around us. For kids, this can be scary and detrimental. Parents should take active steps to reduce early exposure to violence and to help their kids feel secure.