Video game safety tips are an important part of of child’s education. School is out and that means children and teens will be spending most of their time in front of their computer screens and television, or playing their favorite video games. Children prefer to stay home because of these media; however, this presents new challenges to parents.
In fact, many people have pointed their fingers towards violent video games as the main culprit behind increased teen violence in the last couple of years. The violence exposed in the entertainment culture, particularly video games and movies, can influence vulnerable young adults to acting on their impulse. Although it is not proven, many researchers and scholars believe that if children are not properly guided with the kind of video games they play, it might contribute to youth violence, such as bullying, school shooting, and other assault charges. This is because some children and teens
- are more susceptible to bad influence
- are unable to differentiate reality and fantasy
- have poor impulse control and may feel overwhelmed when acting out violent scenes
- might be emotionally and mentally disturbed for various reasons, and may lean towards violent materials as a result.
Two Issues That Parents Should Address
Video games were first introduced during 1970 and since then, they have become a very popular entertainment media. Today, it has become a favorite pastime for children, adolescents, and adults alike.
You have to understand that video games have different categories and genre. There are games that suit children, such as those focusing on adventure and puzzle games; while other games are more suitable for children 18 years of age and above, such as violent, crime fighting, and war games. As a parent, you must be able to properly guide your children. To do this, you must consider two basic issues:
- You should be aware of the game content and determine whether it is appropriate for your child’s age and development level.
- You must monitor the amount of time your child spends playing video games and other activities.
#1. Evaluate Video Game Content
Parents are responsible for helping their young ones select books, toys, movies, and television programs that are advisable for their child. With that in mind, you have the same responsibility in helping your children choose the kind of video games they play. As a tip, the video game content must not be:
- Overly frustrating or scary as it might produce worry and anxiety in children
- Should not be too violent that children are more likely to act out scenes or try to imitate what is being shown to them.
In addition, you should understand the needs of your children, and have a good knowledge about their personality and character. This will assist you in choosing appropriate video games. It is also advisable to spend time with your children while they are playing games. Talk to them about the game and how they feel about it. You should also discuss the values that helps develop your child’s moral character; thus lowering the risk of developing violent behaviors due to bad influences.
#2. Do Not Let Your Child Get Addicted To Playing Video Games
As previously mentioned, you must monitor the amount of time that your child spends in playing games. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Create a schedule in advance just as you would other types of activities. For instance, you can set a rule that video games should be turned off at a particular time. You should also set a rule prohibiting video games until his homework is done. Setting the right rules will help guide your child.
- You should encourage your child to participate in other activities. It can be a sport, club, or a youth group. The important thing is that the activity must be something that your child enjoys. Let him choose the activity. If he is reluctant to do so, you might restrict his game privileges until he chooses and begins another activity. This will help your child get a balanced and healthy social life.
Although it is not proven that violent video games increases the risk of youth violence, it is still a fact that children and teens are influenced by these games in one way or another. As a parent, you need to provide them with proper guidance. Make your child understand the possible consequences if they follow the examples set by violent video games.
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The author, Kris Hopkins, is a game analyst for video game websites. In this article, she offers more information regarding video game safety tips for parents to prevent the development of violent behaviors in children.