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Young Children and Horror Movies: Possible Abuse?

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posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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Boy I went around the block trying to make my point and never did make it.

I am not sure that the authors of those studies really made clear the difference in REAL exposure to violence and TV exposure. I am not sure about how those studies were designed.

You can show kids OR adults movie clips of tv violence. Anxiety WILL go up right then. That's the "FUN" in horror movies that SOME people enjoy, and some people can't tolerate.

It's like how some people have more bitter taste buds so they actually have a different experience of the same chemical. It's a fundamental difference in people.

I am sure though that they cannot replicate REAL studies of exposing kids to REAL violence. They can only find people it has happened to and ask them in hindsight and look at where their psychological make up is now.

However, if you look at my psychological makeup, I'm sure that was important but so are nearly 50 other years of experiences and memories, so how do you isolate that variable?

I can give anecdotal comments and say real violence and tv or movie violence is very different one makes scars that lasts, one doesn't,, and because of that, I question the science in those studies. I would not accept the results without seriously looking at and questioning the methodology.
edit on 15-4-2012 by hadriana because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by DetectiveT
I'll be honest and say that I think the kids who seem to have the most issues are ones where the parents overly shelter them, project their own issues on them or avoid certain situations instead of trying to explain what is going on. It depends on upbringing as much as individual nature. My brother, my friends and myself have all watched horror movies and played violent video games since a young age and we are probably some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.


Great point. Overprotecting your children can cause problems later on, I agree.

Sounds like you had wonderful parents who took the time to expose you to life truths. That's wonderful.

Thanks for sharing!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


We live in a world of media now. Children the age of 3 know how to use an iPad, a cellphone and the TV.
Young children know what they see is not real. It is just play pretend to them and they know it.

There are children out there who will be traumatised by a bloody horror movie, end up with a phobia of clowns, darkness or whatever. But they would have gotten an irrational fear in any case. This just happened to be triggered first which took the place. If not this, than it would have been a spider, water, heights or even flying. You get my drift.

Then you have the "what if they grow up to become killers" arguement. If any person turns into a killer, psychopath or whatever. It wont be because of a movie they saw. There will be a much greater and more deeply hidden foundation for something like that.

All in all, let em watch horror movies if their parents let them. The worst thing that can happen is the fear of a clown.
edit on 15-4-2012 by needlenight because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by showintail
My kids included, we have 15 little zombie killers aged 7 and younger. They have zombie guns and everything

I grew up watching Freddy.
Nudity(waist down ) is the only thing I censor.


No it's not abuse. And no offense, but if my kids came home telling me the teacher was questioning what goes on in my home, I'd be highly po'ed.


It's funny that you should mention your little zombie killers! I have a "zombie alert system" for my older elementary school kids for crowd control when they get roudy. 5 levels: 1 being normal, 5 being that you had better be quiet because Mr. TS is going to give you a write up, and you may just get eaten by a zombie.

If you can't beat the culture, you'd might as well join it. The kids have great fun, I keep control of the classroom, and they get to know me a bit better.

For the 6th graders that I teach, we have a zombie tag game that we use during recess. The "survivors" must avoid being tagged on the shoulders, and the "zombies" have three short flags attached to their clothing. After three tags are removed, they are out. The survivors are tagged once, and become zombies. It's gotten such a huge following at the school that many teachers reward kids by letting them play zombie tag. The kids get their exercise, and the teachers have a bit of fun.

Of course, I'm secretly training my army of zombie hunters when Z-Day finally arrives.




-TS
edit on 15-4-2012 by truthseeker1984 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by hadriana
Boy I went around the block trying to make my point and never did make it.

I am not sure that the authors of those studies really made clear the difference in REAL exposure to violence and TV exposure. I am not sure about how those studies were designed.

You can show kids OR adults movie clips of tv violence. Anxiety WILL go up right then. That's the "FUN" in horror movies that SOME people enjoy, and some people can't tolerate.

It's like how some people have more bitter taste buds so they actually have a different experience of the same chemical. It's a fundamental difference in people.

I am sure though that they cannot replicate REAL studies of exposing kids to REAL violence. They can only find people it has happened to and ask them in hindsight and look at where their psychological make up is now.

However, if you look at my psychological makeup, I'm sure that was important but so are nearly 50 other years of experiences and memories, so how do you isolate that variable?

I can give anecdotal comments and say real violence and tv or movie violence is very different one makes scars that lasts, one doesn't,, and because of that, I question the science in those studies. I would not accept the results without seriously looking at and questioning the methodology.
edit on 15-4-2012 by hadriana because: (no reason given)


Humans are able to pick up signs in others. Signs of distress, fear, pain and so on. We are all more than capable of seeing the difference between real signs and people who try to fake them. Easily even. If any person, child or grown up experiences true horror and violence, it leaves a scar, a very deep scar depending on how horrible it is.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer

Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by smyleegrl
 
I'd have to disagree with your premise.

it all depends upon the context of the setting, the family, the child.

the blanket statements about harming a childs psyche are just that. Blanket statements.

Not all children are negatively affected.

I think there are quite a few that can discern fantasy from reality.

If you disagree, then fine.

But I hope you'll leave the decision making to the parents.



Thank you for the reply. You are right, children are different and the age at which they can "handle" such movies is not set in stone. No one is claiming otherwise.

Unfortunantely, in the area I live in, most parents let the television babysit their children. They aren't making a decision to allow or not allow their children to watch....they are taking a passive role in the process.

There are research studies that do indicate horror movies can have a detrimental effect on young children.

then shouldn't the issue be addressed individually?


So, ATS….should allowing young children to watch horror movies constitute abuse? Hard question to answer.
Myself, I'm hesitant to qualify it as abuse because I think its based on ignorance and would be extremely difficult to prove logistics reasons. However, I do hope we can educate parents on the dangers of the horror movie industry on impressionable minds. Next year I will be conducting a parent training in my county about the effects of television on young minds, and I have great hopes this will help parents understand the potential problems involved.


I'd be careful. There is a thin line between actually being helpful and being preachy. suggestions are great, solutions are awesome.

But as a parent, I get automatically irrational and defensive when it comes to my kids.

Namaste.


You are absolutely right. There is a fine line between preachy and informative. I've given multiple lectures to big audiences before so I feel fairly confident I can get the point across without sounding arrogant or accusatory.

Another point I'll be discussing involves social media and how parents can help their children deal with cyber-bullying, etc

Let me be clear. I don't think ANY parent lets their kids watch violent flicks with the hope it will mess the kid up. I just don't think a lot of parents realize the developmental stages of young children, how the brain matures and develops, etc.

Thank you for your suggestions, beezer. I always appreciate your posts.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by showintail
My kids included, we have 15 little zombie killers aged 7 and younger. They have zombie guns and everything

I grew up watching Freddy.
Nudity(waist down ) is the only thing I censor.



This is hilarious and exactly whats wrong in America today.

"Hey kids? Want to come play with me? We are going to shoot the heads off the living dead that are rising from their graves!....hey, what are you kids watching? People making love? Sex, the way all humans and animals got here? OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! NOOO! NOOO!!! MY CHILDRENS MINDS HAVE BEEN RUINED!!"

It reminds me of the time I was playing XBOX online with some people, some of whom were parents. We were playing Battefield 2, which is a violent war game. The one parent said "This is a great game for kids, I just wish they didnt swear so much!"

I said "So it is OK to blow someone up with a landmine or shoot them in the face graphically, but when the guys swear, thats when you think its too much for a kid?" Without missing a beat, they said "Yes!"

America has serious, serious problems right now.

Anyone who thinks these movies and games dont have an effect on kids might want to actually take a look outside once in a while....does our culture seem normal??? You people are insane.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer

But as a parent, I get automatically irrational and defensive when it comes to my kids.


Which is great for making rational decisions, right?....instead of telling someone to not be preachy, maybe you should work on controlling your emotions. Sometimes, its not everyone else.

I love the fact of Beezzer admitting to being irrational though. Its about time!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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I would just like to point out that (at the age of 49) I absolutely hate clowns.

More from Stephen King's book, (It) than anything else.
edit on 15-4-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by hadriana
There's a lot of studies about children and exposure to violence.

As a child, I was exposed to violence- I was never harmed directly, but I was forced to watch real life violence of an extreme nature. Long story I don't want to go into. Example though: Had to sit on a couch facing an open door in which a child my age was held naked on his stomach on the bed while he was flayed open with a whip made of braided boxwood hedges, which I'd been forced to make- then once his back was opened, they came in with a box of salt and rubbed it in his wounds. He passed out, I didn't.
It was not my parents. I always knew I was safe because if I ever had a mark on me, my parents would have killed someone.

So, I can say that it is different with some level of authority based on life experience. At my own home, which was safe and loving, my older sisters would watch horror movies. I knew it wasn't real, and none of them ever, ever bothered me a bit. The people were play acting.

The freaks that kept me were not actors. They made me feel powerless, and inferior, like by my nature of being young, I, and other kids, were only worth our good behavior, to be tolerated at best, to be hunted and hurt and maybe killed like pesty rodents at worst.

I think the biggest effect it had though was it made me value protectors and question authority and those that would rule by might.' That may not be a bad thing really- but I'd rather have learned it from a movie. When it is real, it is PERSONAL.

If you have a kid that can't tell the difference, they should never watch that stuff. I think most kids with above average intelligence can handle it.

I have known a very smart, very sheltered kid that couldn't handle it. I think no one had ever bothered to tell her it wasn't real, and her parents could not stand any sort of tv violence themself, so she had some of that conditioning going on to.

I always wonder what kids like that would do if TSHTF. I'd personally rather my own child be told the truth and encouraged to be a bit tough. He's 16 today and a lot of crap the other kids dish out doesn't fly with him at all. He sees through a lot of blown smoke.


First of all, I want you to know that you're experience you shared was horrific. Now that's abuse. I'm sorry you and the others had to witness and live through that. Wow.

Parenting is extremely tough, no two kids are alike. What one child can handle, another might not be able too. That's where parents come in.

You were very fortunante to have loving parents whom you knew would protect you. I, too, had such parents....and growing up feeling safe was wonderful.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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I can see your argument. Since I grew up in the drive thru cinema (showing my age) and being the observer of some of the 70's and early 80's horror flix I grew up wondering what was under the bed. There was nights I watched the original Friday the 13th followed by some campy college slaughter house film. Needless to say as a child I leaped onto the bed so the creature or Jason couldn't reach out and grab me as I did so.

It can be an abuse. If my children are watching a movie with me and it starts to get scary I pause the film and show them that it is all make believe. Both my boys (5 and 8) have excepted it to be just that. A scary event paused on the screen and controlled by a controller help them realize that. I haven't had fear problems from either of them since I spend the time to explain this to them. They actually get intrigued on how the movies and computers can make these scenes possible.

Neither of my boys think anything lives under their bed. If they did we would then (as a game) hunt it down. Don't let your child's fears overcome them. If they are scared of something, help them face it.
Don't ever criticize them for their behavior because to them it is all to real until you the parent show them otherwise. I do know a lot of parents won't take the time to do this. Therefore it is abuse.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by aching_knuckles
 


How many times did wylie coyote try to blow up road runner? Elmerfud trying to blow bugs into a million pieces? How many times did the gun backfire on Elmer? We did alright as kids...Freddy was huge when I was about 7..older cousins would try to scare the crap out of the smaller kids..but we knew it was fake. What's the big deal?

I don't feel I am any less compassionate...I'm certainly not a violent person and neither are any of my friends or relatives that grew up on gore..
edit on 15-4-2012 by Neopan100 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by littled16
I felt the need to chime in on this one!

It is my personal opinion that whatever your kids watch you should be right there with them to talk about it and answer questions. I think if anything the problem lies with parents just letting their kids watch whatever they want alone without guidance. And trust me, whether you forbid it or not your kids WILL find a way to watch whatever they want to!


I couldn't agree more. If parents would watch the films with their children and then explain the films are fiction, there wouldn't be nearly the amount of problems. There's no substitute for a caring parent. Your children are very fortunante to have someone who cares enough to take the time and explain what's happening.

Agreed, children will find a way to watch the "forbidden" stuff. In fact, the allure of forbidden movies is practically a guarantee it will get watched.

Thanks for your input!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by aching_knuckles

Originally posted by showintail
My kids included, we have 15 little zombie killers aged 7 and younger. They have zombie guns and everything

I grew up watching Freddy.
Nudity(waist down ) is the only thing I censor.



This is hilarious and exactly whats wrong in America today.

"Hey kids? Want to come play with me? We are going to shoot the heads off the living dead that are rising from their graves!....hey, what are you kids watching? People making love? Sex, the way all humans and animals got here? OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! NOOO! NOOO!!! MY CHILDRENS MINDS HAVE BEEN RUINED!!"

It reminds me of the time I was playing XBOX online with some people, some of whom were parents. We were playing Battefield 2, which is a violent war game. The one parent said "This is a great game for kids, I just wish they didnt swear so much!"

I said "So it is OK to blow someone up with a landmine or shoot them in the face graphically, but when the guys swear, thats when you think its too much for a kid?" Without missing a beat, they said "Yes!"

America has serious, serious problems right now.

Anyone who thinks these movies and games dont have an effect on kids might want to actually take a look outside once in a while....does our culture seem normal??? You people are insane.


You have to look at it in the social context of today. 100 years ago it was Black Bart and his band of horse thieves, 70 years ago it was Americans vs. The World, 50 years ago it was Cowboys vs. Native Americans, Humans vs. Aliens, and US Spies vs. Russian Spies. 30 years ago (and today) it was Jedi vs. Sith, and now it's humans vs. zombies, aliens, monsters, and The US vs. "terrorists." Many of my older counterparts have fond memories of each of those eras. They are well-adjusted human beings, and they know the difference between fantasy and reality. The kids of today are no different. While I question the methodology of the study in question, and further doubt the motives of the study, it comes down to parenting. If the parents help the kids realize the difference between fantasy and reality, the kids will be fine.

And by the way, I got my grandfather to play CoD on the Wii, and he loved it.


As far as the way the world looks, it's not fair to blame the video game industry for this problem. I'd go more toward the MSM as the reasons why people are getting so antsy. That isn't to mention the severe economic gaps between the poorest and the richest in the world. People have been hurting other people for as long as we've been on the planet. Humans have a propensity toward violence. Nothing is going to change that.



-TS



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
I would just like to point out that (at the age of 49) I absolutely hate clowns.

More from Stephen King's book, (It) than anything else.
edit on 15-4-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)


Me too Beezzer....me too.



I. HATE. CLOWNS.


-TS



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by Neopan100


I don't feel I am any less compassionate...I'm certainly not a violent person and neither are any of my friends or relatives that grew up on gore..
edit on 15-4-2012 by Neopan100 because: (no reason given)

Al Gore?

Now I'm scared!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


While I agree with you to some extent, I feel your premise or any premise should never be generalized.

For instance, one of the most well adjusted, happy, awesome people I know is my niece, now 21, who as a very young child absolutely adored any and all things horror show when it came to movies.

This included the really super gory stuff like Japanese Splatter and Gore films of extremely disturbing nature like Ichi The Killer.

She absolutely loved the stuff, but, out of all her friends and pretty much all the other kids in her peer group, she was the most 'normal', adaptable, open accepting, happy, social, yet also independently minded and least prone to peer influence than all the other kids.

I think quite a bit depends on the strength of character of the kid.

Additonal background of the niece; her mom was/is a drug addict and would often abandon her for months on end without notice, leaving her with neighbors, strangers, or basically anyone convenient.
The kid spent more time being raised by a village of family and family friends than anything else.

Most studies you predict her leading a troubled life, but, as stated, she's if anything, quite the opposite.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by Neopan100
reply to post by aching_knuckles
 


How many times did wylie coyote try to blow up road runner? Elmerfud trying to blow bugs into a million pieces? How many times did the gun backfire on Elmer? We did alright as kids...Freddy was huge when I was about 7..older cousins would try to scare the crap out of the smaller kids..but we knew it was fake. What's the big deal?

I don't feel I am any less compassionate...I'm certainly not a violent person and neither are any of my friends or relatives that grew up on gore..
edit on 15-4-2012 by Neopan100 because: (no reason given)


Im glad you brought that up.

Kids today are not watching Wil E. Coyote. The are fracturing skulls of realistically depicted zombies in games. They are stealing cars, shooting civilians in the face point blank and fighting cops in games. The are laying landmines and watching soldiers fly through the air missing body parts.

The technology has advanced so much, your argument is moot.

For example, I think a kid playing Fallout 3 is much, much, MUCH different than a kid playing the original Wolfenstein and fighting RoboHitler.

If it was the kids wtill watching Tom and Jerry, I would agree with you. Its not.

One could argue we are such a militaristic society because my generation grew up watching GI JOE and then playing war simulators.
edit on 15-4-2012 by aching_knuckles because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Neopan100
reply to post by showintail
 

I took the time to explain to them that it's all fake..I even let them watch the "bicycle girl" (walking dead) make-up session on youtube. Now my 6 year old tries to replicate the zombie look with makeup and is determined to be a horror film makeup artist when she is older.


I LOVE this! What a wonderful way to show your children the movie is make believe. And letting your child use makeup to create her own special effects...that's awesome. What a way to express her creativity!



I would say unless it's effecting the kids at school I would not stick my nose in what people/kids watch on tv..

Interestingly enough, the kids in my room with the most "problems" are the ones who replied they watched the shows all the time. But you have to be careful here. Correlation doesn't imply causality. There's a heck of a lot more going on with these children that could explain their "problems" than watching horror flicks.

As I said before, little children love to share what they do at home with the class at school. Its really kind of difficult to get them to stop talking about these things. For example, I was reading them a book where the Big Bad Wolf ended up in jail (The True Story of the Three Little Pigs). About half my kids started chiming in with how many of their relatives were in jail or prison. It happens.

Thanks for your reply, and I hope your daughter's dream comes true!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
I would just like to point out that (at the age of 49) I absolutely hate clowns.

More from Stephen King's book, (It) than anything else.
edit on 15-4-2012 by beezzer because: (no reason given)


Yeah, I read IT when I was in fifth grade. Between Pennywise and Poltergeist....no more circus trips for me!






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