This is a guest post by Ken Myers.
While you may not allow your children to play violent video games, that does not mean they won’t be exposed to them. Here are some tips to help you teach your children about violence in video games and help them to grow in maturity and understanding:
Teach the Children Wisely – Teaching children about digital violence and how it doesn’t relate to the real world isn’t as difficult as some parents may think. Although I believe that certain ages really don’t need to be subjected to some forms of violence, I also believe that parents have a responsibility to discuss the difference between reality and fantasy with children. Even though you may not allow violent video games in the home, it doesn’t mean that his or her friends won’t have those games at their houses.
Don’t Lecture, Discuss – When it comes time for that discussion, you should never rely on the lecture method. Think about it, did lectures from your dad really sink into your head at their age? Mine didn’t. Instead, focus on a two-way form of communication. This makes the child think about what you’re talking about in order to formulate responses and questions. While he or she may not fully grasp the topic, it provides a much more solid base for future discussions and provides the child with much needed information.
Real-life Scenarios – If you really think about society today, many video games are actually less violent than watching the news. In the event of digital entertainment, you can explain away how it’s only a game. In reality, things are much more different. Do you stop at explaining violence in society at the video game level? You shouldn’t. Real life circumstances are vitally important to discuss with your children. It is a way to stir empathy within the child for things that have really happened and the importance of safety precautions.
Violent Minds – Many believe that violent video games can lead to violent children. However, many studies suggest that violence in children is there whether the game is played or not. Instead focusing on what parents can blame outside of the home, more people should focus on the home-life itself. It is mental instability and a lack of empathy that drives a person to violence – outside of what some consider as “crimes of passion.” One of the hardest parts of being a parent is realizing that your child views the world in such a manner. Whether it is through genetics or experiences in the home, few parents want to admit to being partially to blame for that violent nature.
It’s easier to point a finger at an object and blame it for your own failures whether intentional or accidental. Personally, I’d rather arm my children with knowledge of how the world really works. Unfortunately for me, my daughter frequently chimes in with how green screens and special effects work – which suck a bit of the fun out of watching movies with her.
Ken Myers is a father of three and passionate about great childcare. He’s always looking for ways to help families find the support they need to live fuller, richer lives. Find out more about expert childcare by checking out @go_nannies on Twitter.