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True_Avery
12-28-2007, 09:37 AM
I've been reading on Kavar's about media, sex, violence and the like a lot lately, and I must say... There are a lot of people putting children onto the stage to be used as evidence.

Where do you, or where should we draw the line on Innocence? More specifically: The supposed "Innocence" that children have.

Violence, sex, media, religion, the Internet, etc can all harm a child's Innocence apparently, and give them scars for life!

Innocence
Emotional and psycological walls made of ignorance and bliss away from the cruel world around us. Children are ignorant of the world and are aparently happy due to it, so we look upon their cute faces and call them Innocence.

Opinion
I am of the opinion that hiding children and coddling them endlessly does far more long term damage than exposing them to the "horrors" of the outside world. Parents love their children, and don't want harm to fall upon them... but I think the definition of "harm to them" is used so loosely nowadays that parents will do anything to keep their children from getting hurt.

Violence:
Out of all arguments, I hate seeing this one the most, because...

Children are violent, mean, cruel, and are born thus. More "boyish" children to tend be physically violent to wards toys, household items, themselves, and other children or people. Both sides, especially more "girly" children, tend to go for a more psychological attack pattern. They attack those that are different, disagree with them... greed, dislike, lust in some definitions, etc.

Children are children. They are miniature versions of us. They are not born "pure", or "Innocent". Children are simply born with everything that makes people generally "evil" or "bad", and flaunt it until they have definitions of "right" and "wrong" programmed into them by parents and life experiences.

Because people are born naturally violent, and need experience and guidance to know why it may be "Right" or "Wrong", it seems that media could hurt them in respect... but, I disagree.

It seems to be a case of blame and sin, not the sinner. The "sin" will be there forever. You cannot avoid that. The sinner, on the other hand, can be blamed. But, the sinner is not the child... it is the parents.

Parents, parents, parents. I believe that nearly everything wrong about a screwed up child can be blamed on the parents. Parents that abuse their kids. Now, abuse does not have to be intentionally hurting them. I think that parents that coddle their kids, do not place proper discipline in place, and overall treat them like little angels hurt theirs kids in different ways.

Parents that protect their kids from "bad" things because they have some delusions that children have "Innocence" that -MUST- be protected.

Video games, movies, comic books, etc have violence in them and they can and do influence children. However, I do not believe it creates killing machines. The kids that intentionally hurt other people for the lulz factors were screwed up long before video games got ahold of them. Kids that shoot up their schools tend to have a lot of issues with parents, friends, love interests, and overall an apparent bad grip on life itself. Some people are just BORN psychopath sadists that enjoy others in pain. Some people are just BORN with mental problems that can cause them to snap.

"Oh no, it played GTA once! Lets sue Rockstar!" is the common response from IDIOT parents who don't want to take responsibility for how they raised their kid. And if your kid was born with problems, or starting having problems, then it is their failure to take action and help the problem best they could.

I played violent games when I was a kid with my sister. I watched violent movies as a kid. I watched TV fairly freely when I was a kid. I watched wrestling as a kid! Never once did I think "You know what I should do? I should go shoot some kids at my school!" Why? Because my parents started me young on this, and explained to be and reminded me constantly on what was good and bad. My dad sometimes would watch us play games, and play with us sometimes. I'd watch TV with my parents, and they explain things as time went by.

Same can be said for my friends. All grew up on violence, video games, etc, and all have turned out to be mature individuals. Their parents raised them, brought them into the world early, and they learned and adapted.

So no, I do not believe for a single second that violence in the media breeds violent people. I think parents, prejudices, and -ignorance- of the world breeds violent people. Claiming children can be harmed by violence because they are "Innocence" is an excuse to make children, and yourself, ignorant of the world around you.

sex:
I may dislike the violent argument more, but I hear this one much more often.

The argument that sex can harm our "Innocent" children.

I'm just going to go up and say that I learned about sex at a young age. At the age of 5, my parents gave me and my sister a small talk, and then showed up a cartoon video on sex designed for children. It gave a small, simply, and toned down explanation of how everything worked. I even walked in on my parents a few times.

So, I knew how sex worked from a child's perspective. Did it turn my world upside down and turn me into a raving molester? No. I continued on with my daily life of running out into the neighborhood and getting hurt falling off trees and tripping onto rocks.

But, here is something I find odd... Whenever I tell that story, I get gasps from people I tell it to. They say, "That was irresponsible of your parents" and "That could have seriously harmed you for the rest of your life" over and over again like I was some wine glass that was balancing on a spider's web.

Basically they say that the video could have, or did destroy my "Innocence".

I've seen parents ban the Internet entirely from their TEENAGERS. I've seen parents severely punish their sons when they found a dirty magazine in their room. I've known an uncountable number of people that have never taken a sex ed class because THEIR PARENTS TOLD THE SCHOOL NO. I've seen parents with younger kids with the strange, and actually quite insane idea that they can block porn from entering their house while they are raising boys.

As an example out of dozens I've known... This guy named Simon in that went to High School with me. Guy was raised in a highly religious house by some nut job parents that really, really overprotected him. He never got the "Talk" from his parents on sex. Never went to a sex ed class. Internet was pretty much off limits in the house... and so, this guy constantly amazed me and the others. Any passing joke, reference, etc at sex at all and he'd get embarrassed and flustered. He always asked questions, and I am pretty sure by the end of High School we had taught him more about sex than his parents had ever cared to try.

Overall, he was a real mess and even though he had a mature attitude... his parents had raised him to pretty much have the world view of a child.

He is kind of an extreme example, but it was freaking amazing how many people in High School didn't know how sex worked. I'd hear things that would make me disgusted at them, to things that would just make me pass out laughing. Me and my close friends were raised similarly, so we had no idea what was wrong with these people.

And what was the worst thing about all that? The teens that had a limited understand of it all, or were being introduced fully to the concept of sex for the first time in High School ended up being the most immature, the most perverted, and the most annoying to be around. I noticed quite clearly that those that were taught and introduced at an early age were "comfortable" enough with the concept that it was just another thing. The kids that were coddled and protected by their parents were the biggest damn perverts I had ever met. Teens will be teens, and it is pretty hard to get around the perverted aspect, but damn were the coddled kids always the WORST out of all of us.

Internet:
The big thing nowadays is protect kids from the Internet.

Pfft, I started surfing when I was 10.

As for reasons listed above, the Internet is just a crazy tool. It can be used for research in almost all aspects. On the same note, it is profane and filled with a number of questionable things. But, in some ways, this is a good thing for the growing.

I, for one, think hiding porn and sex from your kids, especially your teens, is a dumb parenting move. They are still going to grow, and you can only hide someone for so long. Best let them do what teens do in their spare time and give up that deluded idea of "Innocence". Hiding them and trying to suppress it all, I think, does harm.

And don't give me that "I don't need it and don't want it, so my kids wont have it" bull. Just because you grew up with slightly different tastes doesn't mean your kids or other kids will grow up with those same tastes.

But, as I said, parents still need to regulate, teach, and guide their kids. For one... teaching them that their gender or the opposite gender are not objects, but people that need to be respected. That seems to be one of the bigger problems nowadays socially.

Innocence:
Children do not have "Innocence" walls protecting them. They have walls that need to break down.

Children grow. Keyword: GROW.

Children are not children forever, and teens are not teens forever. Eventually that baby is going to grow into an adult, and how they live almost fully depends on how you raised them.

Claiming that children have Innocence is just another way of saying that you do not want to teach your kids how life -actually- works, and continue on admiring how cute they are.

How do we learn? I think we learn primarily from our mistakes and how to treat those. I think going outside and scraping yourself up a bunch builds character. I think going online and saying stupid stuff when you are 13 and seeing how much people dislike you for it builds character. I think that being spanked after you do something stupid as a kid builds character.

I think being exposed to reality at a younger age prepares you for life better than having parents that coddle you.

There are 12 year olds that are single handedly taking care of their brothers and sisters. There are teens that work a number of jobs and go to school and still manage to care of the parent less siblings. I watched a special on a 9 year old African girl who lost both her parents who goes to elementary school, and then takes care of her 6 siblings for the rest of the time. Clothing them, feeding them, bathing them, teaching them.

If a 9 year old African girl in poverty can single handedly care of her siblings and keep good grades... I think a little American 9 year old can handle playing some video games and learning about sex.

So, for children, where do you draw the line on what they should and should not see? Where do you make the decision on what they should know, and should not? What makes a child Innocent, and why is it important?

Ray Jones
12-28-2007, 10:21 AM
I think as a father I don't necessarily care about the "innocence" my child might lose when opposed to real life things. The problem I see is that kids usually do what they are ought to do: they mimic the grown up. *That* is also how kids learn.

John Galt
12-28-2007, 10:32 AM
This reminds me of a poem I read the other day(something I'm doing far too frequently nowadays).

The History Teacher, by Billy Collins: http://www.poetseers.org/contemporary_poets/poet_laureates/billy_collins/the_history_teacher

mur'phon
12-28-2007, 10:44 AM
So, for children, where do you draw the line on what they should and should not see?

I'd go with my parents and say there is no need for a line, let them learn from their mistakes. Being told that alcohol is bad didn't make me step down my drinking, waking up in as hospital where nobody spoke english after a stomach pump made me quit outright.

Where do you make the decision on what they should know, and should not?

Make them comfortable with asking you about everything, and then explain whatever they want.

Ray Jones
12-28-2007, 11:20 AM
I'd go with my parents and say there is no need for a line, let them learn from their mistakes.While this is a good idea, it is a bad idea. Especially when it comes to windows, ladders, power outlets, cars, streets, knives, guns, stabbing weapons, electric tools of any kind, other tools of any kind, plastic bags, small things, heavy things, practicing safer sex.

Being told that alcohol is bad didn't make me step down my drinking, waking up in as hospital where nobody spoke english after a stomach pump made me quit outright.But that is the wrong way either. There is more than 'no alcohol' or 'too much alcohol'. Alcohol itself is not bad.

mur'phon
12-28-2007, 11:59 AM
While this is a good idea, it is a bad idea. Especially when it comes to windows, ladders, power outlets, cars, streets, knives, guns, stabbing weapons, electric tools of any kind, other tools of any kind, plastic bags, small things, heavy things, practicing safer sex.

My bad, what I should have said is: Tell them whats right/wrong/dangerous and why, prevent them from killing/hurting themselves/others badly, but give them enough responsibility to learn from their mistakes.

Ray Jones
12-28-2007, 12:12 PM
Moreover, *show* them what responsibility is, and most of all live what you tell them.

John Galt
12-28-2007, 04:45 PM
After I shot myself in the foot with a BB gun, I learned gun safety pretty dang quick. Likewise with the first time I accidentally sliced my finger open with a knife. I still have the scar.

All in all, I think experience is the best way to learn; protecting "innocence" (Read: ignorance) just sets the child up for a life in fairytale land or a very rude awakening.

As my 11th grade English teacher wrote on her board the first day: "There is no coming to consciousness without pain." -Carl Jung

Jae Onasi
12-28-2007, 10:54 PM
Parenting--We set boundaries for our kids and allow them, within reason of safety/well-being, learn the consequences of their actions if they step outside those boundaries. We don't allow them to do something that will put their lives or others in danger. There's a difference between learning how to handle a tough situation by learning the hard way vs. doing something that could get themselves or others seriously hurt/killed. E.g. my daughter broke the dishwasher by standing on the door. Since she did that intentionally, she's having to pay us (as much as a 7 year old can) for replacement costs, but she's also had to wash all the dishes until we got the new one, and we explained to her some of the fun things we wanted to buy/do but now couldn't because we had to pay for the new dishwasher instead. Now, when she was 4 and tried to run across a busy street without looking, we grabbed the back of her shirt to stop her rather than letting her experience the consequences of getting run over by an SUV.

We let them ask whatever questions they want, although some subjects we ask them to talk to us about either at home or in the doctor's office. It freaks out Sunday School teachers when 6 year olds start asking blunt questions about anatomy and physiology, and we want to make sure they don't pick up bizarre ideas about these things from their friends.

Sunday School teacher, coming to me looking horrified: You son just asked the class about (hushed voice) genitalia!
Me: So...he asked about penises--kind of a boy thing to do. What'd you tell him?

@Avery--There are some things that kids can be exposed to, and some things that aren't good for them to get exposed to until they're cognitively and/or socially developed enough to handle it. Exposing them inappropriately to things too soon can cause a lot more damage than waiting too long. That's also very individual--my son handled some things better at age 7 than my daughter does, and she handles some other things better than he did at that age. While there is a certain 'sink or swim' aspect in life, I don't want to toss my kids in the water if they haven't been given any resources to handle it.

Achilles
12-29-2007, 12:14 AM
I always find the perspectives of parenting from those that aren't yet parents themselves fascinating :D

jonathan7
12-29-2007, 01:03 AM
Suffice to say; pretty much most of the psychological evidence does not back up your points... If you really want me to pull all the various studies out of my psych textsbooks I will.

Personally a childs innocence to me seems very important; the world is a nasty place... but the long term effects of say child abuse are even worse than that of rape. Children need to be allowed to slowly grow and mature. Sure the worlds nasty and hard knocks are apart of life. But as I'm sure Jae and Achilles will tell you a parents natural reaction is always to defend their children from the harsher relalities of life. Learning is a gradual curb; no matter how intelligent a child is; you don't start them off for maths on any of Einsteins theories; you teach them algebra first then other things... Kids must be read to learn things having first learned the basics. I would say the same is true of the emotional side of learning too.

Where do you, or where should we draw the line on Innocence? More specifically: The supposed "Innocence" that children have.

Violence, sex, media, religion, the Internet, etc can all harm a child's Innocence apparently, and give them scars for life!

Have a look at the world around you... care to explain why people are the way they are?

Innocence
Emotional and psycological walls made of ignorance and bliss away from the cruel world around us. Children are ignorant of the world and are aparently happy due to it, so we look upon their cute faces and call them Innocence.

Whats wrong with that?

Opinion
I am of the opinion that hiding children and coddling them endlessly does far more long term damage than exposing them to the "horrors" of the outside world. Parents love their children, and don't want harm to fall upon them... but I think the definition of "harm to them" is used so loosely nowadays that parents will do anything to keep their children from getting hurt.

I would suggest you read about some of Milgrams experiments... and see the effects to people of recieving no love.

Violence:
Out of all arguments, I hate seeing this one the most, because...

Children are violent, mean, cruel, and are born thus. More "boyish" children to tend be physically violent to wards toys, household items, themselves, and other children or people. Both sides, especially more "girly" children, tend to go for a more psychological attack pattern. They attack those that are different, disagree with them... greed, dislike, lust in some definitions, etc.

Children are children. They are miniature versions of us. They are not born "pure", or "Innocent". Children are simply born with everything that makes people generally "evil" or "bad", and flaunt it until they have definitions of "right" and "wrong" programmed into them by parents and life experiences.[QUOTE=True_Avery]

Some psychological TV studies, of Children watching violence (especially if the violence is positivly recieved) indicates they copy it and are more prone to violence...

[QUOTE=True_Avery]Because people are born naturally violent, and need experience and guidance to know why it may be "Right" or "Wrong", it seems that media could hurt them in respect... but, I disagree.

How do you know people are naturally born violent? Can Lions hunt without being taught? There are some innate traits such as spiders building webs, but the jury is in many regards out for the moment on this issue...

It seems to be a case of blame and sin, not the sinner. The "sin" will be there forever. You cannot avoid that. The sinner, on the other hand, can be blamed. But, the sinner is not the child... it is the parents.

Parents, parents, parents. I believe that nearly everything wrong about a screwed up child can be blamed on the parents. Parents that abuse their kids. Now, abuse does not have to be intentionally hurting them. I think that parents that coddle their kids, do not place proper discipline in place, and overall treat them like little angels hurt theirs kids in different ways.

Citation?

Parents that protect their kids from "bad" things because they have some delusions that children have "Innocence" that -MUST- be protected.

Video games, movies, comic books, etc have violence in them and they can and do influence children. However, I do not believe it creates killing machines. The kids that intentionally hurt other people for the lulz factors were screwed up long before video games got ahold of them. Kids that shoot up their schools tend to have a lot of issues with parents, friends, love interests, and overall an apparent bad grip on life itself. Some people are just BORN psychopath sadists that enjoy others in pain. Some people are just BORN with mental problems that can cause them to snap.

Some adults shouldnt be allowed to watch adult films as it effects their psyche, some children can quite happily cope with more mature content... On your point on the screwed up kids; well personally I would argue you have to be screwed up to enjoy a film like Saw whatever your age...

"Oh no, it played GTA once! Lets sue Rockstar!" is the common response from IDIOT parents who don't want to take responsibility for how they raised their kid. And if your kid was born with problems, or starting having problems, then it is their failure to take action and help the problem best they could.

I played violent games when I was a kid with my sister. I watched violent movies as a kid. I watched TV fairly freely when I was a kid. I watched wrestling as a kid! Never once did I think "You know what I should do? I should go shoot some kids at my school!" Why? Because my parents started me young on this, and explained to be and reminded me constantly on what was good and bad. My dad sometimes would watch us play games, and play with us sometimes. I'd watch TV with my parents, and they explain things as time went by.

I think it depends on the individual as to when they are ready; I think some people are enver ready to watch mote mature films; some children as young as 10 maybe....

I may dislike the violent argument more, but I hear this one much more often.

The argument that sex can harm our "Innocent" children.

I'm just going to go up and say that I learned about sex at a young age. At the age of 5, my parents gave me and my sister a small talk, and then showed up a cartoon video on sex designed for children. It gave a small, simply, and toned down explanation of how everything worked. I even walked in on my parents a few times.

Intruigingly have you noticed that children are starting adolescence earlier... no-one knows why... perhaps its the sexualisation of western culture?

As an example out of dozens I've known... This guy named Simon in that went to High School with me. Guy was raised in a highly religious house by some nut job parents that really, really overprotected him. He never got the "Talk" from his parents on sex. Never went to a sex ed class. Internet was pretty much off limits in the house... and so, this guy constantly amazed me and the others. Any passing joke, reference, etc at sex at all and he'd get embarrassed and flustered. He always asked questions, and I am pretty sure by the end of High School we had taught him more about sex than his parents had ever cared to try.

Some of my friends who have lots of sex get embarassed talking about it....

Pfft, I started surfing when I was 10.

As for reasons listed above, the Internet is just a crazy tool. It can be used for research in almost all aspects. On the same note, it is profane and filled with a number of questionable things. But, in some ways, this is a good thing for the growing.

I, for one, think hiding porn and sex from your kids, especially your teens, is a dumb parenting move. They are still going to grow, and you can only hide someone for so long. Best let them do what teens do in their spare time and give up that deluded idea of "Innocence". Hiding them and trying to suppress it all, I think, does harm.

There are these people called pedofiles on the internet... and alot more than you may think; estimated number of loose pedofiles in the UK is around 50,000 (that was from my psychology teacher back when I was in school; I dont doubt him when he said that; well read guy)

There are 12 year olds that are single handedly taking care of their brothers and sisters. There are teens that work a number of jobs and go to school and still manage to care of the parent less siblings. I watched a special on a 9 year old African girl who lost both her parents who goes to elementary school, and then takes care of her 6 siblings for the rest of the time. Clothing them, feeding them, bathing them, teaching them.

If a 9 year old African girl in poverty can single handedly care of her siblings and keep good grades... I think a little American 9 year old can handle playing some video games and learning about sex.

Just because something happens doesnt mean it should... Do you really think all the worlds children should have to do the above? Thats abit like sayingto a husband whose wife has died that he shouldnt be upset as at least he's not Iraqi....

Jae Onasi
12-29-2007, 02:14 AM
Intruigingly have you noticed that children are starting adolescence earlier... no-one knows why... perhaps its the sexualisation of western culture?

Part of it may be due to puberty starting a bit earlier, unless you're meaning puberty here instead of the psych/soc meaning of adolescence. Better nutrition/health=earlier puberty.

jonathan7
12-29-2007, 02:20 AM
Part of it may be due to puberty starting a bit earlier, unless you're meaning puberty here instead of the psych/soc meaning of adolescence. Better nutrition/health=earlier puberty.

Abit of both really; I must confess though I'm not convinced by the better diet arguments; most kids I know eat a shocking diet ;)

Tommycat
12-30-2007, 09:48 PM
As far as exposing children to things, I think it best to find out for yourself whether the child is ready to handle this new information. How they respond to your comments can reveal a lot about their level of maturity. Expose them too early, and they may not be able to fully grasp it. It isn't about protecting innoscence, it's about whether they are mature enough to handle the information.