Posts Tagged ‘violence’

Fairy Tales: Soul Food for Children

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Fairy Tales: Soul Food for Children | Marcy Axness PhD“But they’re so awful!” This is a response I often hear from parents when I recommend Grimms’ fairy tales as reading fare for their children. While Grimms’ is all the rage these days for adults, parents often recoil at the idea of regaling their young children with stories of orphans and witches, kidnappings and murders — at bedtime no less. Understandable. But savvy parents understand that fairy tales are soul food for children. They nourish the developing psyche in complex ways. But the real ones, not the prettied-up, pasteurized ones.

The Brothers Grimm have been getting lots of press lately, and not just because they turned 200 last month. Popular culture has been plundering them with varying degrees of success — and so their names and their twisty story lines are on our minds more than ever. But many people assume, Oooh, not for our kids! (more…)

Protecting Our Children from the Violence of Media

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Protecting Our Children from the Violence of MediaAs we all anguish over Newtown’s murdered children, parents understandably worry about their own children’s safety. Realistically and statistically, there is a miniscule chance of your child being assaulted by a deranged shooter. But how often do we worry about protecting our children from the violence of media?

Picking up from my last post’s discussion of television as a neuro-violent experience, a topic of eternal concern and seemingly endless research is the effect of certain kinds of screened content on children’s wellbeing — particularly violence. (And keep in mind that violence doesn’t necessarily assume bullets, blood and gore, but refers to any act of aggression; think Power Rangers, Superman, Charlie’s Angels, Dragonball Z, Pokemon, in which the lauded hero uses physical or mental force, coercion or intimidation.) (more…)

How Television Violence Affects Children

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

How Television Violence Affects Children | Marcy Axness PhDSo many questions in the wake of Newtown, and an excellent one is about how television violence affects children. As some of the wiser commentators have said, there is no one single reason (not just guns, not just mental illness, not just family dynamics) for a tragedy of such heinous proportions. The question of how television violence affects children is just one thread of the complex tapestry of causes in such tragedies as the Newtown massacre.

This tapestry surely finds its warp threads in the early days of a child’s life as the social brain is wiring up — during pregnancy, in infancy, toddlerhood and childhood. Important weaving also takes place in the equally tender developmental stages around adolescence. (more…)

Healthy Attachment is the First Best Anti-Bullying Program

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Healthy Attachment is the First Best Anti-Bullying ProgramHow perfect that October is Bullying Prevention Month and Attachment Parenting month — since healthy attachment is the first best anti-bullying program! Healthy attachment is the wellspring optimal brain development, especially the social brain circuitry that governs such anti-bullying capacities as self-regulation, empathy, trust, emotional and cognitive flexibility, and imagination.

As I’ve written about in a prior post about the origins of empathy, my opinion (in agreement with many others) is that even the very best school-based anti-bullying or conflict resolution program puts the change lever in the wrong place — that is, way too far down a child’s developmental timeline: (more…)

Should Anti-Violence Efforts Begin In The Womb?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

It’s hard to think of a baby being violent or destructive, but the seeds of violence may be planted before a child is born, according to research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Research carried out there and reported last fall in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior suggests that attention to health factors during prenatal development could prevent violence in later life. Citing recent research demonstrating a biological basis of crime, article author and Penn nursing assistant professor Jianghong Liu explains, “‘Biological’ does not mean only genetic factors, but also health factors, such as nutritional deficiency and lead exposure, which influence biological processes.”

To read more, please see rest of post at mothering.com.

 

 

 

 

Source:
ScienceDaily

Empathy: An Organic Anti-Bullying Program

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Mother who choked alleged bullyThis morning on The View they shared the story of a mother who was arrested for throttling a boy who had allegedly texted unspeakably awful things to her daughter (including — and I’m surely not getting this exactly correct, so pardon my paraphrase — “you’re so ugly I wouldn’t even rape you”). Evidently his tirade of abusive texts had been going on for some time, and the daughter had made anguished comments to her mother that hinted at possible self-harm. When Mom and daughter happened to see this boy at the mall one day…and evidently with sangfroid he reported he was not going to stop the cyber-bullying…well, if you’re a mother, you can probably imagine how she felt as she ended up with her hands around his neck.

That very ability, to imagine it — the feelings of a mother whose child is being mercilessly bullied and whose repeated attempts to get their school’s attention and help, to no avail — that is empathy: (more…)

At the Heart of Humanity: Cultivating Empathy Through Attachment

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The subject of empathy — and whether it’s an endangered trait — has been on many people’s lips and pens in the wake of unspeakable events in the past several weeks, on US soil and US-occupied soil. As Steve Taylor wrote in Psychology Today,

To a large extent, all human brutality – all oppression, cruelty and most crime – is the result of a lack of empathy. It’s a lack of empathy which makes someone capable of attacking, (more…)