Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Title: Video Violence - Does It Have A Negative Effect?

Category: Child Care


At the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting last year, video violence in the 80's was debated by several organizations including pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Parent Teachers Association, the McLoughlin Group, Fred Barnes of The New Republic, Peggie Charren of Action for Children's Television and several other experts and concerned groups on the issue. The consensus of the majority of these groups and individuals was that much of the increase in particularly violent crime such as murder and rape is related to thousands of hours exposure to video violence. Our children are growing up in front of a TV set watching VCR violent movies, prime time network TV violent movies, violent cartoons every Saturday morning and violent videos of all their favorite popular songs. With a diet high in violence and little time shared with families quietly sitting across the table or sitting on the front or back porch, it is no wonder that our young seem to be desensitized to violence.

Following the tremendous violence in Los Angeles and around the country recently there were many debates and discussion by experts on all the news channels. Just about every expert whom I listened to, including the incoming chief of police for Los Angeles, the outgoing chief of police for Washington D.C. and several policemen and criminal experts (including the attorney general) agree that we must begin to rebuild the family. We must turn off the TV more and limit the amount of violence our young are exposed to. We must begin to reteach them values and stand up for what we know is right and against what we know is wrong. We have allowed video violence to consume the lives of our young long enough. It is time for all of us as concerned parents and citizens to begin controlling this pervasive problem and not let it control our youth and our country.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has been researching this subject for over ten years. All of the studies they have reviewed have come up with these same conclusions. We must police TV. We must police our local networks and what they show to our young people. We must rebuild families and support families staying together and raising children the old fashioned way, with the mom and dad in the home teaching appropriate limits with loving discipline.