Parents must play important role in guiding their children

Tuesday July 31, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/31/focus/11747754&sec=focus

I REFER to the report “Experts: Proper guidance necessary” (The Star, July 23). Educational psychologist Kenneth Phun is right when he said “…not everyone who was exposed to violent media would become aggressive…the “nature” and “nurture” factors could cause a person to become violent…”.

Studies in America regarding the efffects of violence in cartoons on children have shown that there is no empirical evidence to relate it to child’s violence.

What is more important the researchers argued is that parents must play an important role in guiding their children.

But then how do we explain to the children that the violence in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry is purely for the children’s entertainment.

At the same time how do we explain that the comedy The Three Stoogesis purely play-acting and children should not behave like the rowdies in the films.

Whether a child is violent or not as Kenneth Phun said has more to do with nature vs nurture. Sociologists have argued that we are the creature of our environment.

Given the right upbringing a child exposed to violent films will not easily imitate what is shown on TV.

A violent child has nothing much to do with violence in films.

The child is violent due to a combination of nature vs nurture where the element of nurture is far more important.

Where nature is concerned, this is the question of a child born with certain violent traits. If not properly nurtured, the nature part of him will have control over him.

That is why some hardcore criminals do not understand why they commit murder or are easily agitated and resort to violence.

We cannot deny that hero-worshipping like imitating their favourite film character like the “Joker” had an influence on James Holmes, the suspect in the recent shooting in Colorado during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes is an exception to the rule. Many have seen Batman movies but not many have emulated the Joker’s evil ways.

Should we only watch family movies like Gone With The Wind and restrict children to watching Sesame Street?

HASSAN TALIB

Taman Melewar Indah, Selangor