But Why?

Why do people yell at each other and then wonder why their kids are oppositional and defiant to them, or to their friends & their teachers?  “If all the ‘love’ they see at home is in the form of yelling (or hitting) doesn’t it make sense that they think this is how to show their love?”

Why do parents, swear and use sarcasm to each other and then wonder why their kids are such ‘smart-asses’?  “Sarcasm is the most sophisticated form of language, it is saying one thing and meaning another, this takes high level thinking and most children have not formed this level of reasoning and ‘play’ with language until they are much older.  So for a young child to try to experiment with this language technique it comes across funny and cute as a young child imitates their adult role models but as they grow a little more it is as if they are being a ‘smart-ass’”.

Why is this generation of children so much more violent? ” This is a complex answer and I am positive there are many answers from more chemicals in our food (GMO’s) and more ‘noise’ in the environment to less ‘family-time’.  Also we are seeing a surge in electronics, video games, less communication and human contact in play time.  

Longer periods of time ‘pretending’ to shoot and kill people or animals on video games, can desensitize individuals and reinforce cruelty.  Movies are less family entertaining and are mixing humor and violence together giving the impression it is not only ‘ok to be mean’ but it is funny!  The more realistic and scarier a movie is when focusing on ‘doom and threat’ adds fear which also creates a cocktail of chemicals in our brains.  Our bodies respond just as if we are right there in the room with that killer, sweaty palms, increased heart rate and breathing shorter and more shallow.

 There is a fine line between pretend and reality for many people.  They see more and more realistic deaths, with blood and guts spurting across the screen and a ‘real adrenaline rush’ (including a change in Neurochemistry with increased cortisol, and the ‘addictive, pleasure center’ is activated with a dopamine rush.  Creating a false sense of reality because our bodies are responding as if to say “whew, we made it through that one let’s try it again”! 

Experiments have been done for a very long time on the modeling that children witness and how that will dictate the children’s response to others as well as their learned aggression.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr0OTCVtHbU the original Bobo Doll experiment from 1961 (4.08 minutes) helps to describe psychologically what happens with children.  This experiment has been replicated many times in many ways over the years with each new experiment confirming the original findings!

The American Psychological Association has now confirmed http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx a link between playing violent video games and aggression. I truly do not believe it is just a few games here and there that causes this violent behavior, I find that a combination of risk factors including the individual’s feelings of loneliness, self-confidence, depression and what they have been modeled at home that can set the perfect scenario for a mental storm for aggression”. 


2 thoughts on “But Why?

  1. Sarah Dyson says:

    This is a wonderful post, thank you for sharing! I too agree that that is way to much violence among young people today. According to Groves and Anderson (2015) young people that play video games today display aggressive behaviors however, there is no evidence determining wether aggressive behavior was dominate prior to playing video games. I have found that many other researchers such as Bourgonjon et, al. (2015) who concur that the positive effects of video game play out weight the negative ones. It is my opinion that parents should be involved with their child’s gaming, parents should know what games they are playing and monitor their game play. I also believe that parents should talk with their children about the games. The perception that the child has of the game is vital to their cognition and over all health.
    Thank you sharing the topic.

    Bourgonjon, J., Vandermeersche, G., De Wever, B., Soetaert, R., & Valcke, M. (2015). Players’ perspectives on the positive impact of video games: A qualitative content analysis of online forum discussions. new media & society, 1461444815569723.

    Groves, C. L., & Anderson, C. A. (2015). The Negative Effects of Video Game Play.


    • Dr.Lise' says:

      Sarah, I agree that the children that have parents that are playing a more active role in their child’s ‘role playing’ within the video games are more stable and less aggressive!
      However, even parents that are involved also run a risk that their child is truly creating a new ‘persona’ within the game and is finding not only physiological changes but also psychological rewards from acceptance to reinforcement that they may not be getting socially in their ‘real-life’ environment.
      This was found true in the New York Times story about Ali Amin, a Virginia teenager that found his life online was amplified and accepted in such a way that he ‘became’ this person in real life and shocked all of his teachers and family. ‘Americans Attracted to ISIS Find an ‘Echo Chamber’ on Social Media, by Scott Shane, Matt Apuzzo and Eric Schmitt, Dec. 8, 2015.
      These stories do not happen often, but I do think the possibilities are much more plausible today than at any other time in our history.
      Thank you for your perspective! It takes a whole village and those of us with knowledge and passion should stay involved as much as possible! Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

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