Wednesday, February 20, 2013
TV: From Problem to Solution
Last night I watched a program on Adam Lanza, the young man who did the Sandy Hook killings. Adam had numerous mental health problems. His mother had guns. Hi mother taught him to shoot guns. He was disenfranchised, moved from school to school, classroom to classroom. He played violent video games. He had few friends. His parents were divorced and he had cut off ties to his father or older brother. In short, he exhibited every warning sign that we're told to look for as parents and educators.
Adam's problems were deep and complicated. The solutions are too, but we have to start somewhere.
Yesterday this article from the LA Times was in our local paper. Here are a couple of quotes from the article.
"A study conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand concluded that every extra hour of television watched by children on a weeknight increased by 30 percent the risk of having a criminal conviction by age 26."
"'Young adults who had spent more time watching television during childhood and adolescence were significantly more likely to have a criminal conviction, a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder and more aggressive personality traits compared with those who who viewed less television.'"
The solutions to this problem were simple:
1. Limit children's television time to two hours or less. (Even this seems excessive to me.)
2. Limit the programs they watch to educational or non-violent shows.
3. Make television watching part of the solution (programs that promote positive behavior) rather than the problem.
Maybe these are small early steps that parents can take toward the prevention of violence in at-risk children. It made sense to me.
If you have a child in the home, how do you handle the television?