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The attitude of an individual towards a given issue would always define the behavior of that individual. The behavior of children would be dictated by their attitude towards life. Children are always good learners. They would learn from their immediate environment how to behave.
This makes such items as television and other media very important in defining the attitude and behavior of a child. Children who watch violent games would tend to be violent when they get to play with their friends. This is a strong indication that behavior and attitude can change based on the environment of an individual.
Manners and Behavior Change
Children are very important part of the family. They create happiness and every couple would be looking forward to having a number. However, this happiness that children bring to the family can be hampered with if these children fail to have the manners that are expected of them (Ajzen, 2007).
It can be challenging to have children who are not able to behave as would be expected. Many parents and guardians would always want children who are well behaved, respects people at home, in school and many other places that they go. It is a respectful child that would be a source of happiness to any family. There are many places where a child would be expected to uphold manners. This paper seeks to give an augmentative discussion why children need manners.
Manners come in various forms. The child should first be taught home manners. In respect to this, there are a series of etiquettes that a child should be taught. For instance, there are telephone manners that a child should be taught. A child should know when to take the phone and how to respond to it. Although some people strongly believe that a child below ten years should not be exposed to phones, there are occasion when it may be critical that a child knows how to respond to a phone.
Another very important home etiquette for a child is table manners. When on the table, the child should be made to appreciate the need to ask for the items it needs other than going for them directly. It is also important that a child becomes respectful enough not to grab or cry over others food.
Some people argue that a child should be made used to eating in a separate table from other elder members of the family. However, this is not appropriate. The child should be taught table manners with the rest of the family members. Children learn from what they are taught. Their behavior and attitude will always change based on the environment where they are exposed. When they are exposed to violent environment, they will always turn out to be violent in their acts.
A child should also be made to know how to handle the home appliances. It should be made to ensure that there are items that should be avoided because of the dangers they pose. The child should also be informed that there are some home appliances that should not be played with. It is also important for a child to know how it should relate to other members of the family and visitors alike. The child should know how to talk to the parent, guests and other siblings in the family.
Manners in the street are also very important. When a child is out of the house, it should know how to relate to other people. Although many governments in the world have illegalized corporal punishment to children, Lauri and Atkins (2001) argue that in some instances it might be necessary. This scholar argues that children fear this form of punishment and therefore would be deterred from behaving unethically when it is reminded of the consequences.
This way, a child would come to appreciate the fact that although it has rights and freedoms to enjoy, every action has a consequence, some of which may entail pain. As such, it would know that there are actions to be avoided because their consequences are not desirable. This scholar maintains though, that this should come as the last resort. Other means of influencing behavior change and positive attitude should be given first priority.
Should a child fail to observe the above mentioned mannerisms, then the child may end up engaging in activities that may have negative consequences both to the family and itself. The child may grow to become an individual who has undesirable habits.
Juvenile Delinquency Due to Negative Attitude and Behavior
According to Storbeck (2012), the United States of America is heavily suffering from an increase in juvenile delinquency rates within the past one decade. This scholar notes that various adolescents are engaging in activities that have negative effects not only to others lives but also theirs. It is a worrying trend that the age at which individuals commit their first offence is dropping significantly. This scholar says that juvenile delinquency rate in the United States has been on the rise due to a number of reasons.
According to Lauri and Atkins (2001), one of the reasons why this has been so is because of violent games watched in the media. According to this scholar, children who watch violent games always get influenced to act violently. As mentioned above, mannerism of children is always influenced by the immediate environment.
When a child is exposed to movies that show violence, these children would be convinced that such acts are normal within the society. Media plays a pivotal role in influencing the behavior of a child. According to Storbeck (2012) media is one of the leading agents that shape the general behavior of a child. Storbeck (2012) says that children always consider the actors and the presenters as their role models. They desire to be like them. They believe that acting like these actors and actresses would make them heroic within the society.
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Media influence on children has become even greater in the current society. Parent who are supposed to take care of these children are not available. Women, just like men, are currently very active in the corporate world. Children therefore, lack the parental care because both parents are always away for better part of the day.
The parents would come late at night when these children are very tired, and at times asleep. This lack of direct contact with children always results into a situation where children depend on the media to guide their behavior. When they see violence from the media, they will always act violently. They will tend to apply this violence when playing with other children within the society.
According to Muniba and Craing (2013), technology also plays part in the rise of juvenile delinquency rates. This scholar holds that children are exposed to violent or unethical acts at very tender age. The movies they watch have great impact on their lives. This scholar laments that the internet if full of intoxicating materials that the adolescents can easily access.
These materials have serious negative consequences on them. Some of the movies have violent actions that they may ape, and this may affect others. Other movies contain adult content that may pollute their thinking, and make them act criminally.
Some of the adolescents are influenced to act in a manner that may have direct negative impact on their health. Lauri and Atkins (2001) say that a child may be attracted to such acts as smoking because a given celebrity has posed with a cigarette in the hand. Such an act may not only make them be sent to juvenile prisons for underage smoking, but may also affect their health.
When not put into check within the right time, the adolescent may affect his or her life negatively. Muniba and Craing (2013) say that the adolescents needs close attention both from the teachers and parents or guardians. This is because it is at this stage that a child may end up ruining his or her life.
How Play Affects the Behavior and of a Child
According to Storbeck (2012), play is a very important activity that helps regulate crime. According to this scholar, most children involve in criminal activities because they have a lot of time doing nothing. Children are very active, and there energy should always be tapped in a positive way in order to make them not use the energy negatively.
When they engage in games, they get to use their energy positively and by the time they are through with their games, they are always too tired to engage in any other demanding activity. The time that they would have spent committing crime would be spent in the fields or resting after a heavy activity. According to Muniba and Craing (2013), play helps in reducing crime, especially among the youth.
When one lacks something to do, one may easily be swayed to engage in criminal activities. This is because of the nature of the mind. The mind acts as a special machine that is always in action. When this mind is not engaged in activities that brings positive change to the society, then it can easily engage in criminal activities. Boredom should be avoided at every stage in life. This is because it is always an alternative to such positive activities such as plays or other positive activities.
How Boredom Shapes Behavior and Attitude of a Child
According to Lauri and Atkins (2001), boredom may encourage an individual to commit a crime, depending on the extent. Although some argue that boredom sometimes makes one more innovative, it mainly leads to trouble and crime. This is because a boring environment always makes a person’s mind battle with what to do in order to change the environment.
People with good morals may opt to read storybooks or do any other constructive activity when bored. Those with bad morals will automatically think of doing a bad thing. According to Cheryl, Hughes and Fuemmeler (2009), poor living conditions have a strong link to crimes. Poverty results to frustration due to failure by an individual to get the necessities that encourage good living.
Continuous frustration may create a boring life, which forces an individual to engage in illegal activities, such as burglary in order to satisfy his or her needs. In many countries, teenagers admit that they engage in crime because they lack something to do. Storbeck (2012), in his literature, strongly argued that boredom, especially in children, is a great threat to a country. Therefore, there is need to create jobs for the young people in order to avoid vices that come because of bored.
Ajzen, I. (2007). Attitudes, Personality and Behavior. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd.
Cheryl, B. A., Hughes, S. O., & Fuemmeler, B. F. (2009). Parent–Child Attitude Congruence on Type and Intensity of Physical Activity. Testing Multiple Mediators of Sedentary Behavior in Older Children, 28(4), 428-438.
Lauri, B. & Atkins, S. (2001). Teaching Your Children Good Manners. New York: Nomad Press.
Muniba, S., & Craing, A. A. (2013).Effects of Stereotypes Within Violent Contexts on Attitudes, Perceptions, and Affect. Arabs as Terrorists, 3(1), 84-99.
Storbeck, J. (2012). Performance Costs When Emotion Tunes Inappropriate Cognitive Abilities. Implications for Mental Resources and Behavior, 141(3), 411-416.