TV, Video Games, and Your Kids

By: Mark Brandenburg Ma,, Cpcc

There's been a great debate in our country for the
last number of years concerning violent TV and
video games.

There are thousands of studies indicating that
there's a link between violent video images and
increased aggressiveness and violence in children.

There are also studies that say there's little
relationship between the two, and that there may
even be some visual/spatial benefits that kids
receive from video games.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,
the average child in this country will see 200,000
acts of violence by the time they're eighteen.

Common sense tells me this is probably not
benefiting them.

But the truth is that it's difficult to prove the
exact impact that these images have on kids.

For parents, this may be the wrong question to be
asking. Perhaps there are other issues here that
would be useful to consider.

As a coach who works with parents, I see the
frequent power struggles that come up around video
games and TV watching.

When I see young kids in
front of a screen, I wonder about all of the other
things those kids might be doing.

But it's extremely difficult to be a parent
without the "electric babysitter" these days,
especially considering how busy parents are today.
There is also the added complication of other
parents who allow greater access to video games
and TV to their kids.

So what do you do about this issue?

How about using your gut instinct and taking a
firm stand?

A while back my wife and I decided that when our
kids were young we'd like them to spend the large
majority of their time interacting with other
human beings, not screens. We also realized that
at some point in the future this may change. But
because of this decision, we're sometimes looked
at as peculiar by people we know.

And while it does cause some hardship, we haven't
regretted it for a moment.

It simply seemed like the right thing to do.

I would challenge all parents to look at this issue
and to make a decision about what kind of family
culture you want. And don't base it on what the
Jones' are doing across the street or what popular
culture tells you to do.

Make your decision, set your limits, and do your
kids an enormous service by standing by your
limits, no matter what. Firmly and respectfully
state that, "this is what we do in our house" and
then stand by it.

I don't know if video games and violent TV make
kids more violent. And I don't think TV or video
games are inherently evil.

I just want the best for my kidsBusiness Management Articles, because they'll
only be kids once in their life.

Kids and Teens

» More on Kids and Teens