Most of us probably grew up in a household where the older members of the family tried to get along in order to provide a good environment for us, or simply got along without any effort because they were already good friends. We do not think about it, but being surrounded by habits like these teaches us to emulate these same habits during interactions with people, and when we eventually find a significant other for ourselves. What about the other side? The families who do not care about what their children are exposed to? Does it have the same effect on them? Well, studies are showing that there is great potential for this being true.
Studies show that many parents expose their children to violence of some sort at a very young age. Whether it is from the parental figures in the family fighting each other with guns or knives or whatever kind of weapons, allowing their children to watch movies with them that involves violence, or even irresponsible parents who are crazy enough to threaten their own children with these weapons, it happens. According the University of new Hampshire, nearly thirty percent of these poor children are exposed early.
So what does this mean? Children are exposed to weapons early. Big deal, they are young children, they will not remember all this when they get older right? Wrong. Some people know, but others fail to realize that a child’s mind is much more intelligent than they think. Some children who are exposed to this, especially if they have experienced a direct threat through lethal weapons, will be tempted to recruit weapons of their own when they are older, because now they believe that that is what is right in terms of how to defend yourself. For those who do not believe me, I want to offer some comparisons that you have either gone through yourself or know someone that has gone through something similar to these situations. The first is my upbringing. I was raised in a household where the spoken word was the controller of situations and not violence, so I am more inclined to talk something out with someone I am having a disagreement with instead of trying to settle it physically. My friend however, is the exact opposite. He was raised in a family where you had to physically fight for what was yours, so he is a lot more hostile in his nature than I am. Does this sound like anyone you know? No? Alright, I will continue on then. How about kids who get bullied? Children who are victimized by this often do one of three things. They either tell their teachers or parents, they fight back, or the experience may motivate them to join a fighting class with the sole purpose of showing that bully up when they fight next. The last example I will cover is one the majority of adults deal with. They look in the mirror one day in the bathroom before they go to shower and see that they are unhappy with their bodies, and sometimes they will let comments or jokes regarding their bodies build up at the same time, so they start exercising in order to fight off the comments and the sadness they feel when they look in the mirror. In case I have lost you in all the examples, my point at the end of the day is, when anyone is threatened in one way or another, they are going to fight fire with whatever they know will help defend themselves, and this is no different for grown up children who have been exposed to lethal weaponry at an early age.