The intriguing caption on the chapter titled Plays Well With Others is ‘Why modern involved parenting has failed to produce a generation of angels.’ NurtureShock is a great read full of studies that will shake up your ideas about kids and parenting. I tore through the book in 2 days!

So in this chapter, the authors look at a study where children were exposed to 11 hours per week of TV and DVDs, some educational (like Clifford the Big Red Dog) and some violent (like Power Rangers). The researchers found that ‘the more educational media the children watched, the more relationally aggressive they were. ‘ The reason is that educational TV and DVDs tend to spend the majority of the show setting up a problem, which is solved at the end through teamwork, being helpful, lessons learned, yada yada.  The problem, the researchers found, is that young children are not able to connect what happened at the beginning of the show to the moral lesson at the end.  So they just soak in all of the bossy, problematic, and aggressive behavior that is modeled during the first part of the show.  oops!

‘More exposure to violent media did increase the rate of physical aggression shown at school– however, it did so only modestly.  In fact, watching educational television also increased the rate of physical aggression almost as much as watching violent TV…and the more (educational televion) the kids watched, the crueler they’d be to their classmates.  This correlation was 2.5 times higher than the correlation between violent media and physical aggression. ‘

Wow, right?  This book is full of these vivid challenges to our assumptions.  You can pick it up at Bundle right here.


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