April 19, 2013

The effect of U.S. violence on young children

OK, I had a fun and happy post scheduled for today, but I felt silly...almost stupid pressing the publish button to post about eating in Atlanta when I went to sleep reading horrific reports of a shooting at MIT (a school very well-known and respected by Georgia Tech students), and waking up to even more saddening news.

TGIF. This week in America has been framed as the most catastrophic since 9/11 by both the news media and the social media of average citizens.

Whether we want to believe it or not, incredibly awful acts of violence occur on a daily basis every single day on continents such as South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Asia. We know it's happening...we see those tweets by CNN Breaking News too...but we gloss over them thinking "oh, just more people being killed in Iraq, #NBD"

But now that people are dying on American soil: we can relate, we care, we are reacting, we are admitting to losing hope in "mankind," "society," "our nation," and saying these things in front of our children.

I was heartbroken to see my preteen niece post an image on Instagram that listed the "awful things that have happened this week," and say how terrible our nation is.

This is not the America I grew up in. And not the America I want my future children to grow up in.

Of course I agree that the violence is brutal and unnecessary, but we have to teach our children that there is still hope and beauty in life. We should teach them about the heroes of these stories, instead of focusing purely on the villains, the blood, and the terrorism.

I am disgusted by the lack of filtering in the media this week, and frankly over saturation of information and images that have trickled down to children as young as four years old. These young children are soaking in everything they've seen and heard this past week, and it will affect them.

Though we may not see the signs of the exposure of these traumatic events on our American children, please believe they have been traumatized.

I hope that the news media and citizens of America better handle future situations for the mental stability of the youth who are also very aware of everything that has happened this week, yet lack all of the knowledge and experience that the people so viciously sharing this information possess.

By Vett Vandiver


  1. well world is getting worse i'm afraid of what is yet to come!
    may GOD guide us all

  2. So agree with this post, absolutely heartbreaking :,( we just have to remember to be as kind as possible to everyone we meet.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Vett. I very much agree about the over-saturation of extremely detailed and graphic information especially as witnessed by children. Encouraging a message of hope and beauty instead of hopelessness, despair, and shame would definitely have a greater and more positive influence on young people.


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