From the outside looking in, it seems that violent video games are simply inappropriate. However, it’s important to recognize that your child’s relationship to the game is meaningful for him and begin an open dialogue, rather than restricting them completely. Here are some ways to start the conversation:
- Tap into feelings. Talk to your teen about the types of violence in the game, the role it plays, and how he feels when he watches it or has to perform a violent act. This will help him understand how the game manipulates his feelings.
- Accept that he has a “type.” Once your kid has developed a taste for a certain game, it can be hard to prevent him from playing it altogether. It may not be your favorite, but you can search for games in the same genre that have less violence.And if you’re looking for absolutely no violence, check out our list of recommended nonviolent video games.
- Acknowledge his skills. For some kids, being the best at video games is a badge of honor among their peers. Help him find other things that he can excel at, too.
- Recognize he’s part of a community. Many video games have active, involved communities and kids enjoy belonging to these groups. Lots of age-appropriate games have strong online communities as well, though; get him to try Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.
- Play games as a family. The more family-friendly games you can get him into, the better. Plus, it’s a great reason to spend quality time together!