This week’s tip revolves around the best ways to navigate the extensive amount of violent media available to kids, educate your children about the consequences of violent behavior, and choose games that help enforce positive values rather than glorify aggression, profanity, and sexual content.
Experts are still unsure whether there is a direct correlation between media violence and violent behavior, yet agree that heavy exposure can be an added risk factor for aggression. In addition, constant exposure to mature and graphic content, especially if it’s ‘OK-ed’ by parents, can lead to desensitization to disturbing imagery. We would rather have the media our kids’ use reflect our own personal values, yet it can be difficult to isolate the good from the bad in the sea of movies and games when our kids are claiming, “but all my friends have it!”
According to a study from Northwestern, the number one influence on kids’ media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media. Help your kids think about what they are consuming by explaining the true consequences of violence, and point out how unrealistic it is to get away with violent behavior. For more recommendations for finding quality, age-appropriate media, check out Common Sense’s tips on how to deal with media violence.
Also, if your kid is an avid video-gamer, and you’re not sure whether or not to indulge his latest plea for the new Grand Theft Auto V, make sure to check out Common Sense’s list of the 10 Most Violent Video Games of 2014 (and What to Play Instead). Many popular games on the market get the most attention because of their adult content – added mostly just for shock value. While these games are OK for adults to play, make sure you stay up to date on which are and aren’t appropriate for your kids’ age group. Read more.