Parents need to regulate content children watch, say psychiatrists

Parents need to regulate the kind of content that children are watching to curb the aggression level among them, said psychiatrists.

This comes after two children allegedly beat up their classmate to death in West Delhi. The boys were reportedly upset after their classmate complained to the teacher about their “misconduct”.

“The overall aggression level in the society is on the rise. Children are exposed to reality shows, cartoons, movies, which often contain high violence content. It has been established that aggression is a learnt behaviour. So if children watch content which are violent, it is obvious that they will pick up such trends,” said Dr Samir Parikh, Director of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

“Another important thing is to monitor child behaviour. Even if there are slight symptoms of aggression, the child should be immediately taken for counselling. Only a collective response from teachers and parents can help children reform,” said Parikh.

It is important that parents keep a tab on the content that children are exposed to. If needed, parents should censor such audio-visual items, said psychiatrists.  “In the current system, there is a lack of values. The onus of imparting good values to children is both on parents and teachers. Both need to spend considerable time with children and interact with them. Also what is missing is among today’s children is a strong peer group. This way they are missing out on imbibing good values from their peers,” said Dr Arti Anand, clinical psychologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Yoga and meditation classes should be introduced across schools to help students cope with the stress, she added. “Children from the economically backward section who lives in slums often are exposed to abusive behaviour and violence in their locality. This can impact them in the long run. So teachers in government schools should be more receptive of the children’s behaviour and intervene to correct behaviourial problems in its early stages,” said Dr Kushal Jain, consultant psychiatrist at Vidyasagar Institute for Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Sciences.

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