Can You Ingest Conflict?

11 Aug

You are what you eat, right?

But, what about conflict? Is it possible that we “ingest” conflict much like we ingest food? And, if that’s the case, how much is too much conflict to “eat”?

I ask these questions because I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my own home: There seems to be a direct correlation between what my children watch on TV and how much conflict we experience in the home.

More specifically, when my children watch shows that portray “sassy” adolescents smart-mouthing adults, you can probably guess what happens…I’m the object of “sassy” kids who smart-mouth me!sassy girl

It’s been known for years that violent television increases violence in children. But, I sure wish there were more studies about non-violent shows that portray kids being disrespectful to adults. Now, THAT’S a study I would read!

But, frankly, I don’t need one. It’s happening. And, it’s not a coincidence.

I’ll give you an example. Lots of adolescent girls these days love mermaids (hey, don’t we all?). So, there are lots of shows on TV about teenage mermaids. For some reason, they’re all filmed in Australia, but I digress…

Anyway, for some reason, most of these shows focus on boy-crazy teenage girls who smart-mouth their parents, teachers, friends, etc. Most of the show is absorbed in conflict, and only a small fraction is focused on conflict resolution.

So, within about a week of my girls watching these shows, I’ll get the very same behavior in my home. So, obviously, the shows are permanently banned.

Turns out, my children were clearly ingesting nasty, girl-fighting and disrespectful behavior toward adults.

Why was I even surprised they were “regurgitating” the behaviors toward me?

Bottom line: We ARE what we watch, eat, think, observe, experience. And, when that is conflict, we are more inclined to behave the very same way. So, watch what you “eat”!


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