forum post responses week 5

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

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You are the parent of a young child whom you would like to see become a peaceful, affectionate, and cooperative adult.

To achieve this goal, to what extent would you consider taking the following steps?
a) preventing your child from watching violent television shows;
b) preventing your child from playing with “violent” toys such as guns, swords, etc.;
c) preventing your child from playing with “aggressive” children;
d) preventing your child from fighting back if another child kept bullying him or her.

Rank the above options in the order in which you would take action—“a” being the most to “d” being the least likely to be put into action by you as a parent.

Finally, would you want to eliminate all aggressive behavior in your child? Why or why not? Discuss your decisions and the reasoning behind them with your classmates.

forum post #1

Of the listed choices, the one I would be most likely to take would be “A”, which is preventing a child from seeing fantasy depictions of violence in television. The research appears to indicate that the depictions of violence in the media are much more difficult for a child to see as false than the violence that child encounters in real life. My second choice would be “D” which is to prevent a child from fighting back if another child is bullying them. Although I think it is important for a child to be assertive, and stand up for themselves, physical violence as a means of resolving a conflict should never be the first option. The third option “B”, which is to prevent violence using a toy does not appear to be as likely to lead to real adult violence’ however, the research did list some examples of sports causing increases in aggression in adult viewers, so for that reason I would say that violent toys are still more dangerous that play fighting.

The final choice would be “C”, which is preventing a child from playing with other aggressive children, especially if that aggression is not violent in nature, but rather normal childhood play. I believe that this is the least likely behavior of the four listed that is likely to cause long-term damage to children or impact their development into adulthood. According to the research of Hart and Nagel (2017) playful aggression is an important aspect of childhood development, and preventing it could be detrimental to normal development, and attempting to curtail normal youthful aggression could have a profound negative impact on their cognitive, social, physical, and communicative development. The message of attempting to ban aggression from schools can be confusing to many adolescents, since the media displays so many examples of violence in a positive manner (Hart & Nagel, 2017). The theory the researchers cite is a failure on the part of educators to understand the difference between the types of aggression that occur when playing and real life aggression; many seem to incorrectly assume that children are not sophisticated enough to understand the difference. Normal childhood behaviors like chasing, jumping, and play fighting are normal, and there is little evidence to suggest that any of these forms of aggression are likely to lead to adult violence (Hart & Nagel, 2017). The researchers also insist that especially for male children, play aggression is often the only opportunity for young boys to experience the nurturing aspect of play, and assume a caregiver role among their peers (Hart & Nagel, 2017). It can also increase the development of cooperation between these children. One could argue that competitive sports are also aggressive in nature, but the value of these in social development seems to outweigh the risks of possible aggression they may foster.

forum post #2

This was a much more difficult question to answer once I had finished reading the assignment for this week. After considering all of the evidence, I was able to compile my ranking, but still not without hesitation and wavering. My ranking would be a, c, d, and b.

My first option of preventing my child from watching violent tv show is because of the overwhelming evidence, according to Aronson, 2012, that not only does watching violent media cause an immediate increase in aggression, but that the aggression accumulates over time. Further, also according to Aronson, 2012, the body of experimental evidence show that children who watch violence are much more apt to engage in aggressive behaviors. Further, the more violence that young children watch the more aggression they exhibit as young adults. Therefore, since the violence of television causes aggressive behavior in children and causes more aggression as they grow into their teenage years and young adult years, and because the aggression from watching violence on tv, accumulates over time, preventing my young child from watching it would be my first line of defense.

Preventing my child from playing with another child who is aggressive would be my second priority. Social learning is a very effective means of learning, and when a child is allowed to have a playmate who is aggressive is learning from a model to become aggressive also. A child will imitate the behavior of his playmate, which sets up parent and child for a “battle” to reteach and model correct behavior. By allowing my child to play with an aggressive playmate is signaling to the child that the behavior that child exhibits is acceptable to me. Aronson points out that not only will the child imitate the behavior he is seeing, but will behavior aggressively in more innovative ways. By removing or not allowing the influence of an aggressive playmate from the beginning helps to prevent the child from becoming aggressive.

I ranked preventing a child from fighting back when he/she is bullied as my third priority. No one wants their child to be the subject of bullying as it can be extremely painful. However, I don’t believe that having them fight back is the proper way to handle the aggression against him. When we have been harmed, overkill seems to become the rule of the day when we decide to retaliate. Aronson, 2012, has made it clear that when we engage in retaliation, the retaliation that we offer is almost always greater than the original bullying event. Then, what is created is a possible cycle of violence. Violence breeds violence. If I were to encourage my child to fight back, I quite possibly would be setting him up for more aggressive behavior from the bully. I would not want to put my child in harm’s way.

Finally, my last priority would be to prevent my child from playing with toy guns or swords. I understand that these toys could be considered aggressive stimulus, according to Aronson, 2012; however, the risk for aggression would be much less than from the other three options. For these toys to be a stimulus to cause aggression, the child would have to become angry and be in the presence of one of these toys at the same time. There may be times when both of these events take place at the same time when perhaps playing with a sibling or playmate, but as compared to the other options, there would be no accumulation of aggression, playing with toy guns doesn’t necessarily make a child more aggressive, etc. These type of toys might serve to prime the pump at the time, making children more apt to aggress, but overall, the potential for escalation of aggression, violence breeding violence, and long-term effects of accumulating aggression, does not seem to be part of playing with these toys.

The final part of this forum is especially difficult. I would want my child to be non-aggressive and cooperative in life and in his relationships. However, I conceive of possible times when aggression may be necessary. I think of home invasions, encountering bodily harm by kidnapers and other violent behaviors. I would, of course, want my child to protect themselves from such life threatening situations. In those cases, being aggressive in order to protect themselves from great bodily harm would be warranted. That type of aggression is not a daily personality characteristic, but a response to life threatening situation.

forum post #3

A. Preventing your child from watching violent television shows. There are so many television shows out there that show killing and robbing to the point kids will think that if they can do it on television, they can do it in real life. For example, if a teenager sees someone robbing a bank and no one got hurt on television, they may think that they can rob a bank because the bank robbers on television made it look so easy.

B. Preventing your child from playing with violent toys such as guns, swords etc. There are so many toys that are being made that kids can use and they think that they are real. There are play guns that look like real guns. I have seen T.V. shows where kids are getting killed for having a gun in their hand and the gun is a water gun. They should not make these toys for these kids.

C. Preventing your child from fighting back if another child kept bullying him or her. Even though it is wrong for kids to fight other kids when their bullying them, but if there are other ways that kids can deal with bullying, for example, telling their parents or teachers and I know people say that it does not do anything to tell the teacher because these things with bullies will just keep happening and they might get worse because the parents and teachers had gotten involved. So the parents and teachers and the child will have to figure out alternatives besides fighting.

D. Preventing your child from playing with aggressive children. Even though we want to shield our children from aggressive children, there is really no way to know who is aggressive and who is not without exposing our children to other children so they can experience exactly what aggression is. If a child comes in contact with an aggressive child, we will just tell them they can not play together anymore because they are being rough with each other.

I would not eliminate all aggressive behavior in my child because then they would be vulnerable to people taking advantage of them and not being able to defend themselves. I would rather my child at least know how to defend themselves that way if they did not have any choice but to defend themselves, then they would not know how. I would teach my child not to be violent but defend themselves if they absolutely have to.