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Ministry of health

Society is busy raising violent children

Isa Senkumba

Society is busy raising violent children

A modern society risks generating not only careless but also dangerous individuals who will later become a threat to the very society that raised them. We human beings are sometimes illogical. You choose to kill all the caterpillars and later complain that you no longer see butterflies.  Where do you expect to get butterflies when the caterpillars are in total extinction?  When we act recklessly we don’t want to own the aftermaths of our actions.

If a rotten society is the price we pay for the modernization we are enjoying then we don’t need modernization at all. Man cannot lose focus to the point that he cannot distinguish between a home and a house.  We have always said that children are the suckers that will grow when the old banana plants dies; they are the leaders of tomorrow and the future lies in their hands. But many of you have never taken time realize that we are raising our children in houses and not homes.

Basically a house is a physical structure that we put up to provide shelter while a home is the combination of a house and the emotional atmosphere brought into that house by the presence of parents and their children. As long as there are no parents or responsible guardians children are simply staying in a house and not a home.  Today both man and woman leave every morning to go and make ends meet. We live in a monetary society where money means life. The quest for money apparently denies parents time for their children and therefore denying them the chance to grow up in a home.

Vast majority of people who deviate from the social norms and get afflicted by social maladies are those who never grew up in homes and missed the emotional warmth and mentoring provided by parents.  Criminologists won’t take this lightly; they attach the behavioral, criminal and violent nature of people to the environment from which they grew up.  What we are all beginning to conclude is that the bad environments that more and more children are being exposed to are creating an epidemic of violence.

There is a great concern about the incidence of violent behavior among children and adolescents. This complex and troubling issue needs to be carefully understood by parents, teachers, and other adults. Otherwise we may end up treating symptoms instead of the real disease. Children as young as preschoolers can show violent behavior. Parents and other adults who witness the behavior may be tempted to think that the young child will “grow out of it.” Violent behavior in a child at any age always needs to be taken seriously. It should not be quickly dismissed as “just a phase they are going through!”

It is important to note that violent behavior in children and adolescents can include a wide range of behaviors such as explosive temper tantrums, physical aggression, fighting, threats or attempts to hurt others, use of weapons, cruelty toward animals, fire setting, intentional destruction of property and vandalism. These and many others, if not tamed in infancy, are likely to mould the youngsters into violent criminals who have the muscles to threaten the security of a country. It stabs our conscious that the youth we raise to support this nation ends up ramming it down.

A complex interaction or combination of factors leads to an increased risk of violent behavior in children and adolescents. These factors include previous aggressive or violent behavior, being the victim of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse, exposure to violence in the home or community, genetic (family heredity) factors, exposure to violence in media (TV, movies, etc.), use of drugs and alcohol, presence of firearms in home, combination of stressful family socioeconomic factors (poverty, severe deprivation, marital breakup, single parenting, unemployment, loss of support from extended family)  and brain damage from head injury among others.

There is no doubt that all the above anomalies are partly a result of poor parenting that comes as a result of both father and mother being tied up at the workplace and being left with no time to monitor and mentor their growing children. As we all leave home to look for the daily bread children are left in company of a TV that provides them with all irrelevant information.  Violent video and computer games also play a ‘recommendable job’ turning our children violent.

In Norway, confessed mass murderer Anders Breivik testified in court that he used a virtual “holographic aiming device” from the computer game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” to hone his marksmanship skills before embarking on the July 2011 massacre that claimed 77 innocent lives. If your child demands for a toy pistol instead of a toy car don’t take it lightly, you may be raising a violent citizen in future.



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