The internet is full of different kinds of information which some are too tragic or violent to watch. Though it is appropriate to educate the children about the reality of this world, sometimes, there are things they do not need to see literally. For instance, there is a petition circling on Facebook about saving the dogs in China from a brutal end since the Chinese Dog Eating Festival is forthcoming.
Many videos of dogs that are being brutally murdered are circulating on the internet, and if your child has access to it, there is a big chance he will see these scenes. They are too devastating and heart-breaking to watch even for adults. How much more for the kids?
Why You Should Never Let Your Kids Watch Traumatic Videos:
- Children have delicate minds. They are soft and are easily affected by everything they see. They are young and innocent of some cruelty in this world, and watching traumatic videos can cause them intense fear and depression. It is demoralizing to watch something they could not act upon.
- Many horrible things happen in today’s world such as deaths of many marine animals including sperm whales because of plastic contamination of our oceans. They feel strong emotions like anger and pity for the animals. Their minds and thoughts about people could be limited to hatred.
- Lillian Harris LCPC-C said, “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” Traumatic videos like the beheading of people in chaotic countries is a major NO-NO for the kids. First, it is heart-breaking. Second, it confuses them about the values of humankind. Lastly, they may not recover from it that it may cause them nightmares and fears.
- If your children are pet lovers, never let them watch the animal cruelty in specific areas of the world such as torching, skinning, and butchering of animals, specifically dogs, alive. It will create a significant deal of emotion, especially anger towards specific people or race. They may generalize and stereotype.
- Traumatic videos may affect the mental health of your children. It may cause them to think negatively and grow up to be pessimists. There is also a possibility that they become numb, and too much exposure to these kinds of videos become natural for them. As a result, they lose compassion. “Because their brains are still being developed, they may behave in ways that seem impulsive, defiant, aggressive and irresponsible. Seeing the long-term consequences for their behaviors may not be so clear and they may find themselves unable to control their impulses, resulting in poor choices.” Bella Stitt, LMFT explains.
There is always something you can do to make sure their children do not witness these horrifying scenes. You can limit device applications or internet usage. Better yet, you can forbid the use of any device that has access to this kind of information.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT emphasizes that “The stuff kids can access in cyberspace can be dangerous.” You should be vigilant about what information you allow your kids to absorb. Although you may be busy with everyday tasks, it should be your number one priority to ascertain that your children will grow up in a mentally healthy environment.
The Internet may have the power to influence your children in many ways, but you still have the authority to limit what they acquire. You can make a clear statement of avoiding these kinds of videos because they may never understand why you forbid them in the first place. Explain why some information is not appropriate. In the end, it is you who influence them the most.