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Listen to the content of your kid’s shows to see how they stack up when it comes to relational aggression.How often does a character insult or boss another around?
Having a good “theory of mind” (the ability to see things from another person’s perspective) also helps kids play nicely and respect each other’s feelings.
Parents can help here by talking to kids about their own feelings and how they affect other people (for example, by recognizing the meaning of facial expressions), starting in toddlerhood.
Yes, some of our little ones are naturally wired empathetically, but this ability can be nurtured and taught, too.
Researchers say that children’s programming contains a heavy dose of name-calling and put-downs that parents would never condone if it happened in real life.
Even though the end of a show might have a nice moral conclusion, if 90 percent of the screen time is rude and hurtful, that will be the take-away.
A child who is mean or aggressive at school could be acting out the interactions he sees at home, or working through his feelings about them.