Violence in the Media

March 1, 2018
Violence in the Media

With the heavy presence of technology in today’s world, it seems like scenes of violence are more available than ever.

Studies show that when children are exposed to violence in video games, books, movies, and other types of media they are more likely to engage in violent behavior themselves.

Thankfully, caregivers can protect their kids from this risk by shielding them from violent media content that does not align with their family values. Common Sense Media states that “the number one influence on kids’ media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media.”

See the guidelines below, on how to manage violence in the media in your home

  1. Explain the real outcomes of violence. It’s important that children understand the lasting impacts of violence in the real world and don’t become numb to the scenes they see through various forms of media. Just because a video game doesn’t display gory images doesn’t mean that the behavior being modeled is acceptable or wouldn’t hurt someone in real life.
  2. Keep track of time. The longer kids get lost in violent content, the more harmful it is. Similar to other forms of screen time, kids shouldn’t engage for too long.
  3. Teach them that violence isn’t the answer. This goes for physical as well as verbal violence! Show your children how to defend themselves in a way that does not harm others. 
  4. Do your research. Know what your kids are watching and make sure that programs’ ratings (if available) are appropriate for your child’s age. Be careful though, online videos often do not have ratings and can display extremely harsh content. 
  5. Watch out for social media. Any form of ‘interactive media’ can be a forum for violence through pictures or words. Make sure to monitor your child’s social media to make sure their online behavior is safe.


Quick Tips by Age

  • 2 – 4 years: Kids this age should not be watching any media that shows physical aggression. They are likely to simply copy what they see!
  • 5 – 7 years: Slapstick cartoons are OK, but anything that shows serious violence (that could result in death or serious injury) is too frightening.
  • 8 – 10 years: Action hero fighting is OK, as long as there are no graphic or bloody images displayed.


For information on how to make smart TV choices, click here!


This week’s tip is adapted from


Photo courtesy of Nate Londa.