Posts Tagged ‘television’

Fairy Tales: Soul Food for Children

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

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

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…)