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Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy,…

Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and…

by Gerard Jones

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#38, 2004

A friend told me about this book, and I'm really glad she did. This was an interesting book offering an alternate view of the effects of entertainment violence on children. Rather than putting forward the mainstream opinion that TV and movie violence, "shooter" video games, and children playing with guns and army men is harmful to both the children and potentially to society, Jones suggests that allowing children to experience these things can actually be a healthy and empowering; that allowing children to indulge in fantasy violence helps them to learn to deal with the real violence they see and experience in the world, and can give them a safe outlet for their rage and feelings of inadequacy while they're growing and developing. Rather than trying to summarize his take on the scientific research, I'll just say that much of what he said really resonated for me, particularly when I think back to the ways that I myself used fantasy and entertainment in my own youth - and I didn't grow up to be a serial killer, now, did I? ::grin:: It's also made me think twice about some of my own parenting decisions, and to understand that just because my son likes to pretend he's Jafar (rather than Aladdin), he's not already on the path to being a serial killer, either. I found his argument to be very reassuring on the whole - the media has done a great job of convincing us that children today are more violent than in past generations, but crime statistics show that that this is just not true. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has concerns about children and violence. ( )
  herebedragons | Jan 17, 2007 |
A comforting read for parents struggling with their childrens interest in "violent" type play and games. Debunks some of the myths surrounding vionce in our culture today. We get the impression that vionecamong youth has gone up in reality it has gone down and adult vilent has gone up. Still youth violence is twice as likley to be aired on the news than adult violence. ( )
  sammimag | Nov 22, 2005 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465036961, Paperback)

Children choose their heroes more carefully than we think. From Pokémon to the rapper Eminem, pop-culture icons are not simply commercial pied pipers who practice mass hypnosis on our youth. Indeed, argues the author of this lively and persuasive paean to the power of popular culture, even trashy or violent entertainment gives children something they need, something that can help both boys and girls develop in a healthy way. Drawing on a wealth of true stories, many gleaned from the fascinating workshops he conducts, and basing his claims on extensive research, including interviews with psychologists and educators, Gerard Jones explains why validating our children's fantasies teaches them to trust their own emotions and build stronger selves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Children choose their heroes more carefully than we think. From Poke mon to rapper Eminem, pop culture icons are not simply commercial pied pipers who practice mass hypnosis on our youth. Indeed, argues the author of this lively and persuasive paean to the power of popular culture, make-believe violence plays an essential role in children's development. Rather than dismissing action heroes and video games, Jones calls for parents, teachers and everyone else who cares about the next generation to learn why these entertainments hold such enormous appeal and how they can help children develop in a healthy way."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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