Raising Children to Resist Violence

In today’s world of movies and video games, children are more exposed to violence than ever before. This can become a major problem, particularly when children then have to engage with others. From school classrooms to public venues, kids need to be able to function normally, and deal with others in a non-violent manner.

As parents, it is important to teach our children that love and kindness is the best way to behave. Giving kids love and attention as much as possible is a good way to provide positivity. Hug your child and tell them you love them at least once a day. Let them know you are there for them and if they have problems, that they can come to you for help. Providing an open, loving environment will encourage children to deal with their emotions in a healthy way and avoid resorting to violence if they can't express their feelings properly.

Kids need supervision. For some children, their parents may both work full time and they’re found at home alone more often than the parents may realize. Leaving kids unsupervised can open them up to violent movies or games, or tempt them to spend time with other kids that may not be good for them to be around. As a parent, it is important to supervise your child as much as possible. Setting a good example is another important way to help limit violence with kids. As we lead and show them the way, we’re encouraging them to follow in our footsteps. Be kind to others, do good deeds, and show your children patience, and they will follow suit.

Punishment and discipline are very important for kids. Teaching them boundaries and showing them their limits is necessary for them to grow and mature. However, hitting children is never the answer. When children are hit, they often redirect the anger they feel from being punished in this way towards other people, resulting in violent behavior. Try to discipline kids by grounding them or taking something away rather than hitting them. It is also important that the rules laid down in the household remain consistent, so that kids know what their expectations are.

It's very important to discourage violent behavior in children at a very young age to ensure that they can grow and mature in a healthy way. Children growing up in violent home or being exposed to violence are at higher risk of becoming violent, and having assault charges on a background check is not going to help matters.

There are some potential warning signs all parents and teachers should look for in kids that might have violent tendencies:

  • Manipulation – The child uses violence as a means to get what they want
  • Retaliation – If the child gets violent with others as a means of revenge
  • Abusive Households – Kids who come from alcoholic or abusive homes may be prone to violence
  • Self-Harm – Sometimes, children act out their feelings of anger on themselves, which will usually turn into violent behavior towards others
  • Disruptive – Kids who are disruptive in class or who are often in trouble at school can potentially be violent
  • Aggressive Behavior – Some children may act as “ring leaders” for other kids and exhibit some aggressive behavior
  • Weapons – Bringing weapons of any kind to school or other public places is definitely a serious sign of violence
  • Harming Animals – Kids who harm small animals have a very strong potential for violent behavior towards others
  • Isolated – Kids who are anti-social or feel isolated from others may become violent
  • Easily Angered – Children that get angry very easily or “snap” rather quickly can turn violent

Here are some helpful resources for parents and teachers about potential warning signs, and ways to prevent violence in children: