Fantasy or Reality?

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Parents prefer their children to act civilized when others are around because it makes their children look great and in turn, makes the parents proud of them. However, children need a release for all of their pent up anger and rage that they keep hidden deep down within themselves. In Violent Media is Good for Kids, by Gerard Jones, he argues this exact point and goes on to give examples on how violent media impacted both his childhood as well as his son’s too.

Children are not stupid. They learn all sorts of things through observation. We have all watched the news at some point in our lives and have come to expect its violent nature. Children don’t know any better though. They will witness a variety of violent acts, not just on the news, but also through all media. Kids need some method of dissipating this violence and many turn to Gerard’s approach of creating “a fantasy self who [is] a self: unafraid of his desires and the world’s disapproval, unhesitating and effective in action.”

Kids need an alter ego that they can turn to such as a super hero, toys that they can act things out with, or a fantasyland where they can go and do anything they want. I remember growing up with all sorts of action figures that I would act out battles with, or I would play with my dinosaurs and have the T-Rex chase down and kill certain other dinosaurs. Some of you might think this is a tad bit gruesome for children to grow up thinking but I disagree whole-heartedly. I used these action figures as a coping mechanism just like Gerard’s son used “Power Rangers to muscle through a social competition in kindergarten.”

Some may argue that this fantasy world that children create could get them into trouble in the real world because they could confuse the two and act out at their fantasies. First off, kids know the difference between fantasy and reality. Secondly, they would have no need to act out their fantasies in real life because they fantasize about them, it’s all in their head or in a book or with their toys. They get all of their anger, rage, and violence out then so they feel no urge to do any of this in real life. I could not agree more with Gerard Jones and his ideals in this article because they have impacted my life and will impact children for many years to come.   

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One thought on “Fantasy or Reality?

  1. I like your statement: “They learn all sorts of things through observation”, and if we really dig deep into reality, observation often begins before the television, video game, or comic book begins. Children mimic the worlds that they know. As parents we are so ready to shelter our children from the outside world that we often forget to take inventory of the inner environment, for example, how we respond or relate to them and others in or around the home. Many children watch their parents yell and scream at each other, so when they see new forms of violence it becomes difficult for them to process or differentiate the norm. Parents say no don’t act this way or that, when in turn they act the very way they are trying to discourage, therefore, children are left to make their own interpretation and cling to what gives them a since of comfort. This, unfortunately, can result in acts of violence or “super” heroic acts; the only defensive mechanism they have come to know; their solace and safe haven; their fantasy–our reality.

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