How can we stop the violence? The violence that is rampant in homes, on women, against seniors, in the society, and in the schools.
You know this post is triggered by the recent shooting incident. It was a big tragedy, but several such small incidents keep happening not only in America but all around the world.
What can we parents and responsible citizens do to root out violence from our lives and the society?
No, it’s not about just making a law on the guns or abolishing their use. If not the guns, it can be anything else used as a medium to show violence.
To completely stop the violence you need to get to the root from where mostly the problem rises – the person and the family. And who’s the one responsible to an extent?
Yes, the answer to the question should be a no-brainer.
We need to be better parents and more humane individuals to stop the violence from breeding in the minds of our children, teenagers, and even adults.
Though parents can’t be totally held responsible in all the cases of violence, but it makes a difference if we have closely bonded loving families.
How can Better Parenting Stop the Violence
Believe it or not, the making of the choice of violence depends on the kind of parenting and family in the upbringing of the person.
Children who face violence, sexual abuse, and emotional hurt at home are likely to become violent, either then or later when they are adults.
Situation gets worse if their emotional channels are blocked and they cannot express their feelings.
On the other hand, if we raise our children with love and use the most suited and effective parenting style, there are more chances that our children will abstain from violence and have a good mental health.
When you’re loved then you’re happy and at peace. There is then no place for extreme violent thoughts and heightened anxiety, except under rare circumstances.
Some kind of movies, media, video games, and bad company definitely are factors that directly or indirectly breed violence and disturb the mental health of a child.
But these factors have their negative impact only if the child does not have self-respect, a good self-esteem, and love for the family.
A family with irresponsible parents and which is without love often creates anxiety and frustrations in the child’s mind.
The disturbed mental state of a child lacks self-control and the ability to make the right decisions, which makes it difficult to stop the violence getting into his or her head and mind.
That is why every bizarre incident of violence raises a finger on the parent and their parenting. Maybe not all parents are at fault, but many are.
In fact, most parents take parenting for granted, ignore and neglect its importance. Inconspicuously, parents make families the breeding grounds of violence.
It is anger that develops into violence. We need to deal with anger to stop the violence in children, who tend to carry the same emotions and intent when they become adults.
But we need to understand that if a child is angry, then it’s not without a reason. Anger is only a symptom.
This is where parents and parenting plays a crucial role.
What Should the Parents Do
Every parent needs to be responsible enough to raise their children with love and instill the right values in spite of how adverse their own childhood had been.
Every parent should:
- Understand their children
- Create a good family atmosphere
- Prioritize their family
- Spill out all the love for children
Since I’ve written about all these points in many of my earlier posts, I’ll use some excerpts to clear my point of view.
Firstly, parents need to know their children better.
I want the parents to read my post Why Do Children Get Angry? They should especially know the warning signs that trigger children to get angry.
Here’s an excerpt from the post:
When children get angry, it could be due to problems with friends, school environment, inability to study, and coping with unreasonable expectations or unrealistic demands… When children get angry, it is a sign that they feel some pain deep within themselves, because anger is generally a response to pain…
And what do these kids do when angry?
They start fighting and arguing with classmates or even parents, though at other times they are courteous and absolutely normal…Some kids take drastic steps of destroying things or acting indifferently at school or at home. When you try finding out the reason, it’s because of some problems they are facing at home.
But are there more reasons why they get angry in the first place?
Children also get angry when they are lonely, fearful of parents or teachers, not respected, unloved, lied to, if they don’t understand why a privilege is revoked, or if they’re ignored… One main reason children get angry is because there is lack of effective communication. Children get frustrated because they lack the ability to talk freely about their feelings to their friends, or family.
Sometimes things go out of hand and the parents need to be very understanding.
Children who have the above risk factors and show intense anger, repeated outbursts, remain frustrated, are extremely irritable and impulsive should be evaluated for a disorder and need treatment.
Read more here.
It is sometimes not easy for parents to understand and deal with teenagers. Parents of teenagers need to read my post Understanding Teenagers.
Here’s an excerpt from the post:
Problems like mood swings, revolt, snotty attitudes, cluelessness and a wide range of emotions are part of the growing experience. The expectations of parent’s and the teenager’s inability to live up to them are the major sources of disagreement.
This is a not to be missed post for all parents – Is Parenting Troubled Teenagers a Difficult Task? Look out for the warning signs of troubled teenagers. Some of them are:
- Has mood swings that go to extreme levels.
- Avoids positive friendship and/or a sudden change in peers.
- Shows intense sadness and/or impulsive temper.
- Becomes secretive.
- Loses interest in activities.
- Tries purposely not to fit in with peers.
- Begins to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
- Has a more defiant and rude attitude.
Secondly, parents need to create a favorable atmosphere at home that would stop the violence entering in the first place.
Also mentioned in the post are the ways to deal with troubled teenagers, and here’s an excerpt:
Troubled teens need a place where they can discuss their problems, talk out their feelings, and confide in their parents. And a warm home with loving parents is just that kind of place, when everyone can have a family time together.
As a parent you need to give your time, love, care, concern, attention and guidance to you children even if they’ve grown up to be teenagers.
You need to be a better parent. Here’s an excerpt from my post How Can I be a Better Parent?
Better parenting is all about striving to be become responsible parents and make improvements with the way you deal with your children. It’s not about being perfect, rather it’s about being a real parent, in the true sense….
For better parenting, try spending more quality time with your kids, spreading more joy, showing more patience, having fewer arguments in the house, and learn to appreciate, love, and understand your kids.
Read more ways to be a better parent here.
Thirdly, you need to give importance and time to your family.
To have a loving family and children, as a parent you need to give priority to your family and children.
Family is no doubt important and you need to gift the best you got. Here’s an excerpt from my post Is Your Family Important to You?
The only gift you can give your family is the gift of your time, which holds more meaning to them than any kind of materialistic gifts… You need to devote time for your family, which you can carve out from your busy schedule either on a daily basis or over the weekends.
You do not need to know rocket science to have a healthy family. Here’s an excerpt from my post Why Family Time is Important?
According to studies, healthy families make family time for talking and listening, accepting differences, showing affection and encouragement, sharing chores and decision-making, keeping in touch, and making time for each other.
Giving time to your family acts as a magic potion that does miracles. It not only helps you stop the violence from taking hold in their lives but develops them into responsible citizens.
By spending family time together, a very special relationship of trust and intimacy that builds a healthy family develops, especially when children have a real say in what happens and where everyone feels their views are heard.
Children grow up and are gone before you realize it, so don’t waste the time you have now, and spend it with your family. Remember, that strong families are able to withstand setbacks and crisis with a positive attitude, shared values, and beliefs that help them cope with challenges.
Read more here.
Fourthly, unconditionally love your children.
As a plant needs water to grow and bring out pretty flowers, a family needs love to up bring beautiful children.
Here’s an excerpt again from my post Is Your Family Important to You?
A family is your safe den, your recharge point, your caring and motivational center, and your identity… Love in the family gives you the emotional support that helps overcome many other hurdles in life, and helps your grow as a person… Your family becomes your strength in tough times, or when you face family traumas, and family stress. It takes care of you and supports you… A strong and loving family gives you a sense of security, satisfaction, peace, and happiness. It gives a feeling of being cared and loved.
Love heals all and love can stop the violence from taking root in the family.
Expressing love to your children is so necessary and important. Love and emotions deeply impact a child’s psyche and development, including his or her thinking and behavior, and so the personality.
Children grow intellectually or emotionally in a loving family; as mentioned in this news report that describes the research proving it.
If you do not express love in the family, chances are that the children will suffer from emotional problems. The lack of love might damage their emotional and intellectual development, or delay their emotional maturity.
Read more here.
As parents, we need to practice and teach love. It is best explained in my post Are you a Love Teacher and here’s an excerpt:
Parents are the first teachers of their children… It is essential for parents to teach love to them. Children are the carriers of this flame of love, which they’ll pass on to the generations ahead… It is the duty and responsibility of parents to make sure that their children are full of love and learn to love… Parents need to make them understand the real meaning of love and help them evolve into true human beings.
Love is a wonderful energy that makes us feel good. It helps to stop the violence from taking root with its positive force and replaces violence with peace.
Read the post here to know more tips on how to be a love teacher as a parent.
But what can we expect if the parents themselves are not fully mature, not conscious of their responsibilities, and indulge in acts that teach violence and not love.
If parents themselves have no values, are binge drinkers, use abusive language and violence at home, and have weird habits and hobbies like collecting firearms… what can we expect?
Disturbed homes and divorced families sometimes add to the problem. Parents have little time or concern for their children, leave alone love.
Some parents tend to become selfish and get busy in their personal lives and affairs leaving the children on their own.
These parents need to wake up and be responsible.
As parents they need to teach their children morality, raise them with love, discipline, and integrity, and instill character and values.
It’s all that is needed to stop the violence in children, teenagers, adolescents, and even adults.
Over to you –
Do you think parents and parenting have to do anything with violence in children? Can better parenting be a solution to stop the violence? What more can we as parents do? Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: FreePhotoDigital
Posted on: December 18th, 2012
Last Updated on: March 17th, 2015