Children used to gain knowledge of the world in a slow, controlled way. They learned how to behave by watching adults and repeating their actions.
The slowly developing reading skills of young people restricted them mostly to stories and facts deemed suitable for their age level.
But times have changed. Today’s children are flung quickly into the realm of adult knowledge as mass media bombard children with messages.
Rock and rap song lyrics, DVDs, Facebook, and advertising all play their parts. TV and computer games are also major players.
Messages in advertising, TV programs, and games — and even some content on the nightly news — would have been shocking to see just one short generation ago.
Young viewers can’t always distinguish between the drama and trauma of soap operas, adventure shows, or computer games, and the day-to-day routine that most adults live.
Without proper guidance, children can grow up dissatisfied with lives less exciting and glamorous than the movie heroes they admire or those on their computer screens.
They can become frustrated when they can’t resolve a conflict in 22 minutes — or worse, 22 seconds. Be aware of media content and use good judgment in your selections.
Doing so is a key to raising healthy, well-adjusted children.