Of Children And Innocence Essay, Research Paper
Of Children and Innocence
Cause and Effect Essay
There are many theories as to why violent juvenile crime is on the rise in the United States. Some theorists state that it is the collapse of the family unit, while others say it is violence in the media or the environment in which a child is raised. Actually, it is a combination of many varied internal and external forces. But first, one must go to the beginning, to the very root of a child?s age of self-awareness.
Children are born with the capacity to learn. Hate, envy, racism, selfishness; these traits are not instinctive, rather, they are learned. It does not matter where anti-social traits are initially experienced, whether it is found in the home, or school, or even in the nursery, the results are the same. Children that are exposed to violence at an early age could have a propensity towards violent behavior as they mature. Children must be shown that violent behavior is not acceptable, and traits, such as compassion, are acceptable. Too many children today are left alone or unsupervised by guardians and parents. In today?s society, it is a common trend for both the mother and father to work. Young children are many times left in the care of schools, friends, neighbors, and relatives. In these cases children behave in ways that imitate real life. Children observe violence on television, at their school, or at home. In a child?s eyes, violence is an acceptable behavior because it is observed as being acceptable. It is imperative that young children are guided and taught the differences between right and wrong. In a perfect society, this is all well and good. Unfortunately, perfect societies do not exist. If the core fundamental moral structure of a child?s undeveloped personality is firmly established, there is a very good chance that violence will not be a part of that child?s adult future.
Child psychiatrists have found that a child becomes self aware around six years of age. The first five years of a person?s life is sometimes referred to as the ?age of innocence.? Too many children today have never experienced the age of innocence. These children more often become adults with developed undesirable anti-social behaviors. A very high percentage of violent adolescents were found to have had come from a disturbed and sometimes violent homelife. When these same adolescents were asked if they could recall happy moments in early childhood, most could not recall any. Most certainly, the violence seen on television, in films, in newspapers and periodicals only amplified the acceptance of violent behavior.
In order for society to find a way to control violent youth, society must start with the newborn generation, and continue working with each successive newborn generation, until instances of violent behavior begin to subside. There is a solution, but the solution would require understanding and participation of all parties involved. This would mean Federal and local governments, schools, churches, day care centers, and ultimately, both parents. The solution could take years, even decades to implement. But it must be done soon if we ever expect to see a change in our youth within our lifetime.