21 Mar 2012

Kids Adopting “Mean World Syndrome”

Parenting advice to reduce our kids’ worries about a sometimes mean, scary world and curb the “Mean World Syndrome”. Terrorism. War. School shootings. Pedophiles.  Recession. Suicide bombings. Cyberbullying. Kidnappings. Global warming. Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Sexual abuse. It’s a scary world out there for us, but how do you think the kids are faring?


Let’s face it-we live in frightening times. But if you are feeling a bit jittery about current events or a troubled economy, imagine how our kids must feel. Talk of uncertain times permeates the world around them. Graphic television images of real disasters and terrifying events just reinforce their fears. Think about it. This is the first generation of children who have watched broadcasts of war, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and school massacres in their own living rooms.

Make no mistake: the image of the world as a mean and scary place is affecting our kids’ well-being. In fact, George Gerbner coined the term “Mean World Syndrome” describe a phenomenon when violence-related content in the mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. And that syndrome seems to be one that our kids are catching.

Dr. Michele Borba’s Reality CheckWikipedia