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Media and violence

Depictions of violence are present in many films, series, games and images. Children and young people are inevitably confronted with it sooner or later. Over time, they must learn to cope and develop strategies to process the representations. This is also a question of age. For this reason, there are restrictions on depictions of violence in the media, which are regulated by the protection of minors in the media. Films and computer games are given an age rating to indicate that the content is only suitable for children over a certain age.

Copyright: T. Imo/photothek.net

At the same time, violence in the media does not automatically lead to children and young people becoming conspicuous, aggressive, frightened or violent. We have to look more closely: Does the depiction of violence make sense for the story or is it just about the joy of bloodshed? Does it take place in a serene or menacingly somber environment? Are the acts of violence trivialized as in some comics or computer games such as Clash of Clans? Is violent action in the medium punished or rewarded? Moreover, not all violence has to be physical. Psychological violence can also be very threatening and frightening. Horror films “play” with the emotion of fear more than there are excessive and threatening depictions of violence.

It is important for children and young people to be able to create a distance to what they perceive and understand that it is not reality. Talk to your child about what he or she has seen and observe how he or she copes with certain media content.

If you find that your child tends to use violence as a way to resolve conflicts, or generally glorifies it, you can seek support from a school social worker or family support agency in your area.

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