The urge to respond to negative stimuli using violence is a natural one. It is something that every toddler works through, and every preschooler has to learn to control. For some children, that is the end of it. For others, the problem persists, sometimes getting worse.
Youth violence has a lot of causes, and a lot of solutions. In some cases, it comes from a lack of ability to communicate effectively, especially when upset. In others, it stems from a lack of emotional control. These problems may be internal, coming from a mental disability at the root, or the cause may be from their external environment. A stressful environment or an unstable support system can cause a child to burn stress using violence. Problems come up when the child’s parents fight or break up, when the child moves away from their support network of friends, when they lose a friend, when family members die, when they lose contact with a support figure such as a favorite teacher, and in other situations when the child’s support network is compromised. When a child loses part of their support network, it is important to make sure that child still has strong connections which they are willing to rely on and open up to. Otherwise, the child may feel entirely betrayed and alienated.

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Crucial Factors

Violence in movies and video games are easy pinpoint blame on, but the cause is more likely to be factors in the child’s own life and mental state. In fact, video games and movies provide a respite for children. Instead of using violent behavior in real life, children can fulfill violent urges in a safe environment with no negative effects to other people. There are studies which suggest that violent video games cause violence in real life, and it’s not impossible that this is true. There is the idea that children become desensitized to violence when they hurt or kill fictitious characters in a simulation representing the real world. This is possible. However, there is not a desensitization process to video games. People are not appalled the first time they see a death in a video game, even though they are appalled by death in real life. If violent video games do not affect people the same as violence in real life, it is difficult to argue that violence in one has anything to do with violence in another.

When I was younger, my older brother had problems with anger. He hit other children at school, even teachers. He hit me whenever we got into arguments. His problems stemmed from difficulty with communicating. When angry, he wanted to explain his thoughts, but hitting was a lot easier, and communication only got harder and harder. The last time he hit me was two years ago. I complained, and my dad pointed out that if I didn’t like it, I could press charges for assault. I think my brother managed to stop on his own when he realized there could be real consequences.

Youth Violence at School

Youth violence affects the child’s relationships and school success. It affects the people the child inflicts violence on, making the environment stressful and unsafe. It also affects the people who try to help. Parental support and counseling can help to build a stable support network for the child. This helps the child to feel less alienated and more supported in stressful situations, helping the child to resolve the urge for violence healthily. Children can also be taught techniques to control anger.

Youth violence is not something that can be stopped. It starts naturally at the age of one or two years old. Individuals can learn to control their own violent behavior using a support network and the ability to control stress, but it will always be a part of life.