Friday, December 19, 2014

Enough Is Enough! Parent Alert: It's Time To "Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill"!

Although I typically write about bullying and cyber bullying with this blog, the psychological factors of causation with individuals who are committing more heinous crimes are eerily similar to those who perpetrate forms of aggression through both types of bullying. Therefore, I would like to share what I have learned.  

I just finished reading Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill: A Call To Action Against TV, Movie   &Video Game Violence by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano. Parents, Guardians, and those entrusted with the well-being of our children, if you don’t read any other book in 2015, I implore you to read this one!

After hearing Lt. Col. Dave Grossman speak at the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists Annual Conference in May 2014, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second edition of this book (available August 2014). Supported by the latest research as well as by six prestigious organizations  – the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry -  Grossman and DeGaetano clearly make the case for  “causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children”.  However, the alarming and deleterious effects on the psychological, social, cognitive, and physical development of millions of children who are pervasively exposed to violent movies and TV, and/or who are engaging in violent video games are thoroughly defined and discussed.  What I learned is horrifying. This book is not an easy read – but it is a MUST read.

Although every chapter of Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill is incredibly important, I recommend jumping right into Chapter Three – Murder, Torture, Brutality: Dangerous “Games”, and Chapter Four – The Story I Tell Myself About Myself.  Even with my background in psychology and my professional experience in the areas if trauma and abuse, I was blown away by the depth of Grossman’s and DeGaetano’s  compelling understanding of the human mind and how the processes of reconditioning and re-scripting by exposure to violent media affect children differently at these developmental stages– ages 3-5; ages 6-10; ages 11- 14; ages 15-18.  Parents or guardians, when it comes to violent media and how it influences and impacts a child’s psycho-social development and self-identity, the authors explain step by step how a child’s brain is harmfully “wired and fired”. Just a few of the terms that are part of the “wiring” include the following:
  •  Mastery and control
  • Operant conditioning
  •  Desensitization
  • Downward spiral 
  •  Wishful identification
  •  Imitation to identification

Understanding these terms and many others provides awareness and insight into the damaging developmental consequences on our children, many of which go undetected until acts of aggression or of violence become part of a child’s repertoire of behaviors and anti-social attitudes.

Parents/guardians and for everyone who cares about our children, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano write, “The media has been called the third parent because of its pervasive, repetitive, and constant presence in the lives of our children.  Mass media actually comes between and impacts every personal and societal relationship our children form. It’s ever present.”

Enough is enough! It is time to step it up! It is time to Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill! Grossman and DeGaetano are ready to help.  Along with a wide range of resources, the authors provide readers with a plethora of age appropriate guidelines and practices to incorporate into their parenting.

Get this book! Get it today! 
Let’s all get to work helping our kids live healthier lives!  

* Special Note: 

Lt.Col. Dave Grossman (USA., RET) is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime, As a West Point Psychology professor and professor of military science, Grossman trains medical and health professionals in how to deal with and prevent killing. He is one of our nation's leading trainers of elite military, law-enforcement, and school-safety organizations. 

Gloria DeGaetano is an acclaimed media-literacy educator and the author of the award-winning book Parenting Well in a Media Age: Keeping Our Kids Human.As a consultant and university instructor, DeGaetano has trained thousands of teachers, family-support professionals, and parents in media-related issues since 1987. 


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