People and the media can have a huge impact on the mind of a child.
Ray Bradbury the great science fiction author of works like Fahrenheit 451 died recently aged 91. Mr Bradbury often recalled as a child a meeting he had with a stage act called Mr Electrico, who touched the boy with an electrical sword making his hair stand on end, and commanded him to Live forever! The action, probably a routine action of the stage act of Mr Electrico, had a major impact on the boy who was inspired to start writing, and the world gained a writing genius.
Children constantly look to those around them as role models, upon which they mimic and play out what they see in their own selves. The smallest action by a person can have a huge impact on the mind of a child. Luke Pace, aged 12, jumped into a river to save a girl, because he wanted to be like his “brave mum”.
Adult world crushes children’s minds
In the modern world children are discouraged from social contact with those that could impact their minds, instead having a large chunk of their waking life captured by television, video games and the internet, where less than ideal imagery impact and shape their minds. Yasmeen Olya in her blog said:
“The child is best when he is certain of his life, 100% certain that he/she is in the right place, that everything is in its right place, that the universe is moving beautifully and perfectly, and cradling him.”
Mental illness in children
In their small pond in life the child feels in control, a giant, safe; but when they are dumped too early into the great ocean of reality the child feels small, frightened and powerless. Television, video games and the internet sends the adult world crashing into the minds of the child before they are ready for it, and thus this contributes to the appalling statistics of mental illness in children estimated in UK at 10% or 20% of them at any one time.
Obsession with body image
The media sexualise and make children worried about their body image. In my town of Colchester statistics show for instance in body image at the low-end 47% of girls worry about their weight (year 9), rising to 80% (year 11 to 13) girls. In a 2011 report in the Guardian newspaper 197 UK children aged between five and nine were hospitalised with eating disorders.
Ban television, video games and internet
There is now widespread debate in the UK about what is to be done about the impact of video games, internet, and television on children. I have an easy solution, children should have no access to video games, internet or television before the age of 12, and that will be what I will be doing if I raise any child.