Post 29 — Violence. Peace. Children.

“Teenager fixated on people being killed” was a search that reached my blog. I get this kind of thing a lot.

People are worried and confused about children acting out; they wonder how to contain their rage; they wonder why they’re violent.

I more or less “decided” on why my own son was violent, based on my own research; based on the age he was when he began raging; and on all the outside factors in his life. I may be wrong, but I know that nobody has any better information upon which to base their claims about my son than I do. The MDs and psychiatrists only have the DSM-5 to judge from, which is merely a list of made-up diagnoses by symptoms. No scientific evidence, no proof. By the admission of renegade psychiatrists, it’s simply a reference manual for prescribing drugs and for billing.

But if I found myself sitting across from a person who said to me, “I wonder why my teenager is fixated on people being killed?” I would have some ready questions. Does your teen watch the news a lot? Does your teen play a lot of violent online games? And violence in games doesn’t have to be ‘World of Warcraft’ or ‘Call of Duty.’ I see all kinds of violence (weapons, killing, hand-to-hand combat…) in the most innocuous apps my sons download. But even cartoon-like violence for hours on end is not a mind-healthy thing.

Do you or your kids watch UFC-type sports? Horror, police and thriller shows? The endless supply of kidnap-murder shows? Are you in a military family? Do you talk about guns a lot in your household? Do you follow violent sports?

Does your child take prescription pharmaceuticals? If so, have you read the entire list of warnings that come with that drug? There is growing evidence that some pharmaceuticals cause suicidal and violent thoughts, and that some are directly behind school and mass shootings. Are your teenager’s friends taking any of those drugs? Are their own violent ideas spreading to friends and peers? Parents really must make a huge effort to communicate daily with their kids. Their peers, and the violent or negative culture around them, cannot be allowed to be a more powerful force shaping their thinking than their parents.

We don’t take any pharmaceuticals in our family. They generally only treat symptoms and lead to side effects. And I don’t keep the TV on programs that promote an obsession with violence. Yet I am a news hound and my kids can see the most horrific violence on the daily news. I never imagined, say 20 years ago, that I would be watching beheadings, stonings, and crucifixions on the nightly news in 2016. But there you are.

We have made our son watch episodes of ‘Scared Straight’ sometimes, a show that films at-risk kids while they’re made to visit prisons. I think he needs to know a probable consequence of a habit of violent or anti-social behaviour. But otherwise I strictly limit the crime, police, thriller, and other types of violent shows we have on in our home.

I am not a child and even I must acknowledge how my own mind is affected by what I watch. And if an adult is affected, then children must be affected to a greater degree. I tend to use Netflix at night as a relaxant; but I have to be careful what I watch, because the last thing I watch is almost guaranteed to be imported in some form into my dreams that night.

Sadly, we live in a violent world. And some things — entertainment, sports, news, and pharmaceuticals among them — exacerbate the violence out there already. Peace and calm really do begin at home.

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