A standard Sunday afternoon in our home goes a little something like this:
The kids (aged 6 months and 2) get up from their naps around 2.30pm. My husband and I play with them in between cooking up a bit of food for the week and doing mundane tasks like washing, cleaning etc. The television is always on, showing either Rugby or UFC. Both high-contact sports. We then have dinner together as a family around 5.30pm.
Now, I don’t mind watching these sports. I’m into them, a fact which my husband loves. But lately, as our eldest gets to an age where he understands EVERYTHING, I’ve started to wonder what effect watching these sports is having on him.
Like most little boys his age, by attending childcare he’s learnt to push other kids. He also gets overexcited and hits people in the face – it’s an enthusiastic thing, but is definitely misunderstood as ‘lashing out’.
He’s also taken to tackling his baby sister around the neck. HARD. As in, he would choke her if I didn’t intervene. It’s all out of love. He is quite obsessed with her.
So, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a correlation between the sports we watch on the weekends and these behaviours. I don’t think he understands the difference between a sport, or make believe, and real life.
Studies show that violence on television certainly does have an adverse affect on children and the way they think and act. Dr Gail Gross, an expert in human behaviour and parenting, says kids learn from both experience and role modelling, so when they see violence on TV they can’t really differentiate between what is real and what is make believe.
The time I felt like a terrible mother. Post continues after video…
The link between exposure to violence in the media and violent behaviour has been studied a thousand times over, with nearly all research pointing towards a definite correlation.