Correct me if I am wrong, but my interpretation of childhood is a formation of becoming an adult. We teach children how to read, write and behave. In other words, we teach them how to live and survive as adults - life skills. That being said, does violence influence how children handle situations? Does a child know what is right and what is wrong? Can violence lead problems in the future for children? Can violence be eliminated completely from ones childhood?
Some argue that violence is everywhere; it is in the home, in the schools (bullying), the community, on TV, and in the news (TV and print). According to a Comprehensive National Survey more than 60% of the children surveyed were exposed to violence of some form in the last year. The question is how does that affect a child long term?
Violence in the home is linked to psychological, cognitive and long-term problems. Psychological issues include fear, low self-esteem, withdrawal, depression, problematic relationships, and higher levels of aggression. Cognitive includes poor school performance, lack of conflict-resolution skills, limited problem-solving skills and pro-violence attitudes. Long-term problems include higher levels of depression and increased tolerance for and use of violence in adult relationships.
I think that we would all agree that child who grows up in a home that is "unhealthy" have more often than not grown up to repeat or accept that behavior as adults. Children who grow up in a home where problems are solved with violence and abuse learn by nature that is how to deal with situations. Then, how is watching it on TV any different?
This YouTube link speaks to this issue in society. I think it is important to note that even though one grows up in an environment where violence and abuse is present, does not mean that the child will grow up to repeat it. Often, they know how it made them feel and they change their way of thinking and doing. However, I argue at some point someone or something influenced that child to see things differently or change the way things were done in the past.
Personally for me, I grew up in a home where verbal abuse was a normal thing from my mom. Now as an adult, I see that she is like that because it is all she knows. It was how her father spoke to her and what she grew up with. That being said, I knew I did not want to be like that or to live in an environment like that. I've caught myself in relationships where he was like my mother and it took years for me to see the truth that it was an unhealthy relationship (I need to listen to my friends more - they saw it before I did and good thing I did not marry him!!!)
It also too me a long time to see who I was, who I wanted to be and what I needed to change. For me, it was great people in my life and a coach to help me recover from the pain of my past. For each person it is different, for some, they never have that opportunity to see differently. Evidence leads me to believe that it can influence children. Personally for me, I do not want to expose my children to violence if I can help it.