According to research, children who play violent material grow up to be violent themselves. The same study also shows that children who watch violent material on television also have a tendency towards aggressive behavior. Playing video games, according to some researchers, is beneficial for a child as it builds proficiency and coordination. Others also suggest that just because one watches or plays violent material, it does not mean a child will grow up to be violent. How far is this true? What about children who witness violence of some form every day of their lives? Do these children also grow up to show aggressive behavior, and do they also repeat the same behavior? What is the effect of violence on children?
Everything a child sees and hears goes on to affect him or her in some way. This is a fact. Babies and adolescents who are exposed to violence in the home are severely stressed. The emotional stress of watching the violence take place in his or her home harms the development of the brain and can also impair cognitive and sensory growth. Children who go through daily violence at home start showing various behavior changes. These include sleep problems, excessive irritability, fear of being alone and problems with language development etc.
As these children grow older, the violence they see also works into their academic success. For example, children of primary school age will start having trouble with school work. They may find it difficult to concentrate and be unable to focus on what is being taught. Most children who come from violent backgrounds do not do as well as other children. According to a study, children who are exposed to violence have poor reading abilities. These same children may suffer with depression and have suicidal tendencies. Children who suffer with violence grow up to have substance abuse problems. They are the most likely to get pregnant and partake in criminal behavior.
Another effect of violence on children is that it affects their social development. Some children lose the ability to feel empathy. Others are unable to make friends and may isolate themselves from such situations. Yet more others show tendencies to become bullies. These are the children who end up fighting in the school yard.
According to UNICEF, the likelihood of a child growing up to be a violent adult is extremely likely if the child grows up in a violent household. It is stated that many women who complain of domestic abuse are married to men who were members of a household where domestic violence was commonplace.
Violence, and constantly being exposed to it, can be extremely harmful to children. Children need to be cherished and loved. They do not need to see any violence. Although the same pattern of violence may not occur in every child, however, the effect of violence on children is significant. It is something that can ruin their lives and the lives of others. So, does violence, and constantly being exposed to it, have an impact on children? The answer, yes, it does.