Violence-induced media and third-culture children.

13 Sep


I’ve been away from blogging a bit too long, and now, the opportunitiy to bring up my random thoughts on a very intriguing social issue, has arisen. The suggestion for this personal op-piece comes out as Michael Pick pokes us all this week, with the question: “Does watching violent movies inspire violence in the real world? “.  In his own words, “When tragedies happen in the real world because of the violent deeds of a particular individual, the shock and horror that this happened very soon leads to trying to unravel the reason behind how it came to pass.

For some, the violence seen in films is taken as a catalyst or the inspiration for disturbing acts of violence in the real world. For others, blaming film violence for real life tragedies is cutting corners at best and “scapegoating” at worst — an effort to pin complex social or psychological issues on an enemy that can’t fight back…

Violent? :o these are Super-Heroes, embedded with super-dupper powers, and any little boy's dream!  Image downloaded from the site

Violent? These are Super-Heroes, embedded with super-dupper powers, and any husband’s  little boy’s dream!
Image downloaded from the site


As a parent, a traveler, a ‘serial expat’, and mother of 3 growing TCKs, I believe there are so many factors responsible for shaping up a child’s future – and this is especially true when we’re talking about raising well-adjusted, worldly citizens, well-rounded children, as products of hybrid cultures.

Some of these factors are culture, socialization and the own child’s experience; its perception of the world, and the child’s feelings and frustrations. Unfortunately, due to being exposed to a myriad of social situations and contexts, a so-called ‘third culture child‘ is also more vulnerable to external influences. One of the strongest influences relates to the common day-to-day aspects of life: the innocent act ofabsorbing‘ images and concepts brought home through movies, TV shows, streamed videos, all the so-handy resources offered by the internet! And why not say, through the apparently harmless violence-based children’s video games… 😮

Oh, well… so then, what should we do, as parents? Others here already expressed their opinion that simply forbidding the child from watching potentially violent programs/movies, is not the solution, but it does have an impact on the developing mind – and the impact is unlikely positive, unfortunately…

Third culture children are in continuous need to understand the true origins of caring, the need to help others, and the strategies to display a nonaggressive behavior. The key players in order to achieve that level of self-knowledge, comes from parental socialization, the family system, schools and cultural influence. Currently, the easiest and quickest [albeit, not fully harmless!] avenues are the social media tools, television and movies. For younger kids, especially, the last two ‘avenues’ mentioned before, have both a fast and deep impact on the children’s minds, and the way they begin developing their own concepts, affirmations and perceptions about their surroundings.

Children who are growing up under this modern ‘violence-influenced’ scenario, will likely tend to develop the understanding that violence is a regular [and maybe necessary] part of life, which could be extremely dangerous for our future generations.

Again, as a parent, I’m concerned with the loss of sensitivity when it comes to publicly offering free violence viewing to our kids, as if it were part of a healthy environment.

Is reality really as cruel as it’s perceived through the movies? Is it all necessary? What good is it bringing to the upcoming generations?

Too many questions, and not on single answer – at least, not from my parental and confused mind.

We’re all just trying to get by surviving one day at a time, and hoping that our children will turn out to be well-balanced, responsible and loving adults. That’s simply my hope; as much as I’d like to, I don’t have control over my children’s future. I can offer them advice and love, but can’t hide them inside a bubble, making sure they won’t get hurt or even hurt others. This ‘motherly bubble’ doesn’t exist, thankfully… Kids need to be kids and yet, need to experience life. Life as it is. Holywoodian life is not life, it’s not real. The ‘reality’ portrait by movies is not, in fact, real. And the violence offered by movies should always be perceived as what it really is: fiction… 😮


Posted by on September 13, 2013 in children, expat, FAMILY, TCKs, technology


Tags: , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Violence-induced media and third-culture children.

  1. cvheerden

    May 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Hi, me and my 4 year old son where just surrounded by a violent mob in South Africa where we currently live and work. Violence is so around us. I didn’t let him watch “the Hobbit” and was later surprised to hear the book was first rated good fiction for 5-9 year old readers. We need to keep it real, but violence is NOT entertainment, it is a social PROBLEM we are trying to fight, right. So I guess as TCK moms we need to be extra sensitive and explain just that little bit more, to keep those precious young souls feeling confident and connected.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      May 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      I agree. Violence is not a natural thing – it’s artificial, it’s a human creation. We should not act like it means nothing, and that our children need to be exposed to violence that early in life, simply because ‘it’s part of life’… it’s not part of [natural] life, it’s a social creation, and as you mention, it’s a social problem, and should be addressed like so. Couldn’t agree more with your points. Thank you so much for taking the time to come over and share your experiences and opinions over here… As moms, parents, we have the obligation to address this social issue – otherwise, if we just close our eyes and minds to the problem, the cycle will continue… 😮


  2. josmanu

    April 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Mi Mundo and commented:
    Interesting point of view.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you very much for your interest and thanks for reblogging! Much appreciated! 😮


  3. Todd Fuller

    April 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’m not saying that these things can’t influence kids, I’m sure it can. I will say that ultimately it is the responsibility of a parent to be super involved in the development of a child. I doubt that these things in small doses present an issue; however, I do believe when these stimuli become a major component in a child’s life that it must have an impact. I still feel that the biggest factor is lack of parental guidance: get involved with your child. This was a very thought-provoking post. Thanks!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      At the end, the parents are the ones responsible for shaping up their kids future… I understand it’s tough, difficult, and very challenging, but hey, we [parents] all signed up for the package… 😮 Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts, Todd! Much appreciated!


  4. colonialist

    April 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Maybe the violence is more ‘in your face’ these days, and the distinction between goodies and baddies less defined than in my childhood. Nevertheless there was plenty of violence, but my generation seemed to retain a healthy sense of what was make-believe and what was reality. I strongly believe social issues are at play, here, even though that view is a minority one.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      I tend to agree with you… when I was a child, of course there was violence, gun-shooting, murders, bombings, but I guess today, things, as you said, have become easier to access, faster, more intense, really ‘on your face’, and we have no other option, but to expose ourselves to that… maybe our generation [I’m pushing 42, so…] was more ‘shielded’ than the generation of our kids… just a thought, but I do believe, like you, that social issues are definitely at play! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts, Colonialist! Always appreciated, and welcome, as you well know! :p


  5. travtrails

    April 27, 2013 at 4:36 am

    To me it is the parents who help mould children. The outside violence and corruption, especially in present day India, can be negated if children see balanced parents not swayed by emotions and situations. I am glad my children, now well settled, escaped the me-first choices.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

      I agree… we [parents] are the kids’ first idea of ‘constant’, we are their model in life, for good and for bad… it’s a huge responsibility, right? It could be seen as a burden, a heavy load on our shoulders, but our children, as we said, need to see balanced parents, and take on from there. The outside world will then, not have such a deep and strong influence on their personalities. At least, my way of seeing things… Thank you very much for stopping by and sharing your comments! 😮


  6. Lucid Gypsy

    April 27, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I’ve always felt that films, TV and now gaming has to have an effect on developing minds, if violence is normalised in these areas how can it not influence them.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Absolutely… and it begs the question: ‘do we need to portrait all that violence?’ I personally, don’t think so…. Thanks for sharing your opinion, Gilly! 😮


  7. empressnasigoreng

    April 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Not sure that was quite the point I was making but thanks for the pingback.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      April 26, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks for coming by… I used one of your paragraphs [quoted here] as a sort of springboard for the collection of impressions some other adults/parents have shared with me during the past years… The ‘impact’ mentioned along our blogpost makes a link to your original thoughts:
      “Some of my friends were studying the novel at school and invited me along. The film had quite a big impact on me. Not only was it the most shocking and violent film I had ever seen, but I think it also helped shaped my view about appropriate responses from the state towards dealing with unacceptable acts…” and later “…we demean ourselves as a society. This line of thinking can be extended to capital punishment and also retaliatory bombing of countries that harbour terrorists.” In any event, yours is a very good piece, very well put together… the impact not necessarily needs to be fully negative, but nevertheless, it’s deep, powerful, and timeless. Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts! Very much appreciated! 😮


      • empressnasigoreng

        April 27, 2013 at 2:29 am

        No problem. Glad you liked the post. I liked yours as well.


        • 3rdCultureChildren

          April 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

          Good! It’s the idea of a forum, that attracts me! Already started, so, thank you for being my ‘springboard’! 😮



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