Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Walking Dead - Do parents know the effects it will have on their children?

I just had the opportunity to spend 10 minutes in the locker room at the YMCA with two little girls.  I would guess that they were between eight and ten years old.  They were giggling and talking like little girls do.   I could not believe what they were talking about and as I listened I became more and more upset.  They were both talking about the television show the Walking Dead. 

I'm not sure if you've ever seen the show but I have, or at least as much as I could take of one.   It is one of the most gory, graphic and violent shows I have ever seen.   My husband and 28-year-old son started watching the show together.  One night, I decided that I would get in on what the big deal was and watch the show with them.   As I began to watch, the actors were gathering people, including children; lining them up by a trough, cutting their throats as blood spewed everywhere.  The scene was the most terrifyingly brutal scene I could have imagined!

I was so disturbed that I had to leave the room while my husband and son did not even flinch.  After talking to many people about this show, I learned that this type of violence was the norm in this program.  Is this really something that our children should be watching? Should it be the locker room talk of two little girls? Absolutely not! The research has repeatedly proven that violence affects children's brains! 

Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior.  Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may:
  • become "immune" or numb to the horror of violence
  • gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
  • imitate the violence they observe on television; and
  • identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers
Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. 

Let's protect our children and monitor what they watch.  The Walking Dead should not be on their viewing list!

Norma W. Honeycutt, M.Ed.

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