It seems we live in a world where we’d rather blame everything else for our own faults. Over the years TV, films, music and video games have been blamed for the way certain individuals behave and act when in fact it is down to the person NOT the external influence.
I Guess I Better Go Do Bad Things
I’m a gamer. I also love listening to alternative bands such as Black Veil Brides, My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson. The media, including social media, would have you believe that I spend all day laying around barely clothed, licking X Box controllers, self harming while plotting to buy a gun so I can kill all the kids at school who bullied me ultimately resulting in me committing suicide.
I can assure you that I do none of the things listed above. Luckily for me I’m not easily influenced, my mental health is ok (most of the time) and I know that just because I see these things on my screen doesn’t mean they’re acceptable to do in real life.
It’s Not The External Factors It’s The Internal Ones
When something bad happens people are quick to analyse the situation to find blame elsewhere. When a school shooting happens, rather than looking at what was influencing the shooter internally they look for external factors to blame. “He listened to Marilyn Manson”, “He played GTA” “She watched Breaking Bad”.
In most cases, the individual had an underlying condition, normally a mental health issue. If they’d have felt able to reach out for help then there is a good chance that whatever tragedy happened wouldn’t have.
I’ve seen many teenagers who have committed suicide, their parents and the news blame the music they were listening to when in fact the music has, more than likely, kept them alive for as long as it could. Anxiety, depression and being bullied tend to be the root causes of suicides. Not “emo bands”.
This post was inspired by an article on the BBC this morning about an actor banning his child from watching a TV program because he “literally turned into [character name] haha”. Rather than taking a step back to look at the real issue, this parent has decided to lay blame on the children’s TV show.
His child is three years old. The TV show has originated from a book series aimed at five to nine year olds so it’s safe to say that this is the targeted age range for the TV show. The show follows a boy called Henry who is horrid, like a complete twat on the most part. He plays tricks, he bullies his younger brother and he chats back to his parents…you know, the things normal kids his age do.
At the end of the day Henry gets punished for the naughty things he does, he learns that he shouldn’t have done it and life goes on. It is aimed at this age range because these children will be able to understand the moral of the story – if you do bad things then you’ll get punished. At three years old, children (in most cases) won’t put two and two together. They’ll just think it’s funny what he is saying/doing and copy – causing a problem.
Just Because It’s A Cartoon
Cartoon doesn’t equal appropriate for all children. Different cartoons are aimed at different ages. When I was a kid we had The Rugrats, they were a mischievous lot as were the kids from Hey Arnold and Recess. As I got older there was Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy and The Simpsons. In adulthood we have Family Guy, Rick & Morty and South Park. I would never dream of letting Eban watch the last three until he was at least a teenager. So why let a three year old watch a cartoon aimed at those who are older? It’s not the cartoon’s fault!
We Love You Henry
We love Horrid Henry in this house. Eban enjoys the shows and this encourages him to sit and read the books which is a good thing. As he is the right age for the books/show he understands that what Henry is doing is wrong, he knows if he copies then he to will be punished. In fact, we often sit and chat about why Henry is so horrid, and why Peter is so perfect (I’m more annoyed with that character).
So stop blaming the TV shows, the music, the films and the video games. It is the individual who is to blame, or their parents in the Horrid Henry matter. Rather than wasting time and money spinning click-bait headlines, the media outlets could encourage more exposure to mental health awareness and actually helping prevent tragedies.
And parents, do your research before letting your kids watch any TV show/film or play that video game. There are age ratings for a reason. If your child acts up because you’ve allowed them to watch/play something that isn’t appropriate for their age then that is YOUR fault…not the source.