Turn on the television, log on to the internet, drive by a news stand, and the gut wrenching headlines are everywhere. Today’s youth are killing one another in horrific acts of anger based violence. The good news is that children aren't born violent. How a person responds to frustration and anger are both learned behaviors. The question is where and how do people learn to respond in the violent and disruptive patterns plastered all over the media?
The causes of violence/bullying by youth are many and varied and range from impulse control deficits to domestic violence exposure.
Attention seeking – Angry, Violent, or acting out behavior may be the result of wanting others to pay attention to feelings that the child is unable to verbally express. Remember, negative attention is better than no attention.
Electronic Media – Children exposed to everyday violence through movies, television, video games, the Internet, etc. are often so exposed to violence and disruptive behavior that they believe it is normal and how people behave when frustrated or upset and as such engage in violent angry behavior easily and without reservation.
Environmental Influences – Children are influenced by the people they associate with even when the behavior they see is known to be wrong; Therefore, they learn and accept the violent behavior they see from their friends and family as normal then reproduce these behaviors at school and in the community.
Guns & Knives – The easy access to weapons of all kinds increases the likelihood of disturbed children shooting each other in anger.
Home Environment – Children learn what they live. If the parents in the child’s home are violent and abusive to each other and the children, then this is how the children learn to interact in the world.
Lack of Appropriate Role Models – Without positive and appropriate role models, children don’t learn to resolve conflict peacefully.
Learning Differences – Children with learning challenges, whether health related or inherited, is often linked with frustration and lashing out. If your child or a child in your life is struggling at school, talk with the teachers and get help. Special education programs are available to help remove barriers to learning, which reduces the chances of frustrated kids lashing out at school.
Mental Illness – The effect of depression, anxiety, stress, homelessness, instability caused by neglect, substance abuse, etc can all cause youth to act out in frustration and anger.
For further information about appropriate interventions to assist children and families with learning to control impulses combined with developing appropriate responses to anger and frustration, please visit our website at www.nvamc.com, or call us today for a free consultation at 1-888-992-6479.