Parents finally seem to be taking notice

Panelists in Lexington address violence in media. Wicked Local Lexington, October 17, 2013.

barney-power-rangersAn article in a local newspaper in Lexington, Massachusetts that describes an event with three media experts held at a high school for parents. This subject is the impact of media violence on kids. Dr. Michael Rich of Boston Children’s Hospital leads off with a clear statement that parents should limit all exposure, and let me repeat, all exposure to media violence for kids. He refers to a recent study that kids who watch Barney are often happy and enthusiastic whereas kids who watch Power Rangers often behave in violent ways. This is a clear if provocative position, I would say.

Another one of the experts, a journalist, points out that the news is riddled with real life violent stories. As he says, “if it bleeds, it leads.” In other words, journals are looking for violent stories on which to report because they pique the interest of the audience.

The upshot of a story like this is that parental concern and in fact alarm about the negative impact of media violence on the mental health of kids is on the rise, and this is a good thing, for certain.