Studies show excessive viewing of television violence may cause children to become more aggressive and anxious. Unfortunately, much of todays television programming is violent. Parents might ask themselves whether they should limit or exclude violence in what their children view on a daily basis, and also how to spot if whatever their child is viewing on TV is having a major contribution to their behavior. Television violence usually refers to all the violence appearing on TV screens. It includes material broadcast over the air, distributed by cable and satellite systems, and available on videocassettes and disks. A study done by professor Kevin Dominic Brown from the University of Nottingham and Dr. Catherine Hamilton Giachristis of the University of Birmingham in 2005, revealed that there is consistent evidence that violent imagery in television, film, video, and computer games has substantial short-term effects on arousal, thoughts, and emotions, increasing the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behavior in younger children, especially in boys. However, the evidence was inconsistent when considering older children and teenagers, and long-term outcomes for all ages. According to Janvier Yubahwe a psychiatrist and sexotherapist at Kigali Psycho-Medical Center, There is continuing debate on the extent of the effects of media violence on children and young people. “This debate shows the typical divide between so-called media pessimists who believe that media violence can be very harmful to children and adolescents and the media that says that there is no evidence for this,” he says. “The idea that some individuals are more susceptible than others to the effects of violence in the media has provided a balance between these two extreme viewpoints. Some researchers emphasize the role of social and environmental experiences to explain individual differences,” he adds. Diane Kamaliza a mother of three, says that although monitoring what children are viewing on TV can be really hard there is always a way to limit what children have to view, and for her, she sometimes notices the changes when the children watch violence elsewhere. “As a mother of two boys it can really be tricky to get your boys not to watch violence on TV, but I have made it a culture to exclude violence at home and in what they watch which helped a lot”. Although violence is violence, according, to the National Television Violence Study, not all violence is equal, however. While some violent content can convey an anti-violence message, it is typical to sanitize, glamorize, or even glorify violence on U.S. television, their study found that only 4% of programs coded had a strong anti-violence theme in the 1995-96 season. In the two years of the study that have been reported, 58% (1994- 95) and 61% (1995-96) of programs coded contained some violence. How to spot changes in your child due to violence viewing Aggressive Behavior. Learning to use aggressive behavior is predicted to increase when the perpetrator is attractive, the violence is justified, or weapons are present. Fearful Attitudes. The effects of fearful attitudes about the real world may be increased by a number of features, including attractive victims of violence. Desensitization. Desensitization to violence refers to the idea of increased toleration of violence. Yvonne Uwamahoro a mental health expert and counselor at Mhub Rwanda says that there are few changes that are visible every parent can spot. “There are a lot of symptoms and all can be spotted when observed closely, some children may become immune or numb to the horror of violence, and children who watch many hours a week of violent TV may become trained to violence and begin to see the world as a scary and unsafe place they may also be anxious, and that is why parents need to pay attention to their children’s behavior,” she says. How can parents and professionals monitor TV violence? Although we are in a digitalized world where children have access to electronic devices, experts advise the following: Yvonne Uwamahoro advises that parents should, set limits on the amount of time they spend with the television, because it decreases time spent on more beneficial activities such as reading, playing with friends, and developing hobbies. And also consider removing the TV set from the childs bedroom or paying attention to what they are watching. According to Janvier Yubawe, parents and professionals should: Be aware of the risks associated with children viewing violent imagery as it promotes aggressive attitudes, antisocial behavior, fear, and desensitization. Assist children’s understanding of violent imagery appropriate to their developmental level. And offer support and advice to parents who allow their children unsupervised access to inappropriate extreme violent imagery as this could be seen as a form of emotional abuse and neglect.