Wellness Matters NewsletterAn Experience in Creative Journaling

Courtesy of Life Esteem, Published by Simmonds Publications

Resisting Violence
Can Begin At Home

Families Can do Their Share to Address Violence in Their Children and Emerge Stronger in the Process

     Violence in children is a complicated issue with many causes. It is easy to point fingers at some of the more obvious potential culprits. For example, television provides a steady diet of violence. It has been estimated that by the time children turn 18 they have been exposed to 40,000 deaths on TV, usually with no mention of the grieving that families endure when a loved one has died. Similarly rock music, and rap music most of all, often contains lyrics explicitly promulgating killing and other violence. Video games seem to go a step further - they not only are violent but the player of the game is also the shooter. Movies glorify violent deaths and revenge. The Internet is filled with websites carrying violent themes and even sites that tell the viewer how to make bombs. Guns are easy to get and have become a symbol of rebellion and power among some youth. Our schools have become segregated with cliques who intimidate each other - the jocks versus the goths, for example - sometimes in brutal ways.

     We can also look to larger social factors, such as the breakdown of our traditional sense of community and the decline of traditional religion.


We may blame the high divorce rate and the large number of single-parent families - or even when families are intact, the need for two incomes to make ends meet so that kids end up alone, lonely, alienated and feeling unsafe. We can also look to social variables such as the decline in the traditional values of respect and decency toward others, or our tendency to look for the worst rather than the best in people. This seems, in some ways, to be an age of cynicism and fear.

     Research studies have shown that aggressive behavior is learned early in life. Parents, family members and others can take steps to reduce or minimize violence by raising children in safe, loving and trusting homes. We all make mistakes in our lives, and this may seem especially true when it comes to raising children, but trying to do our best can have a great impact on the lives of children. Here are some specific steps we can take to minimize the chances that our kids will grow up to be violent.

Give Children Plenty of Love and Attention

     Behavior problems and delinquency are less likely to develop when children, especially at an early age, have a parent or other adult who is involved in their lives. Every child needs a consistent, strong and loving relationship with an adult to develop a sense of trust and to feel safe. Without this bond, a child may grow up to become difficult to manage, hostile and distrustful.



This newsletter is intended to offer general information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from these broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problems.

La Jolla, CA 92037

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