Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cars, Guitars and Wars?

What do cars, guitars and wars have in common? They're all the subjects of video games, of course. Violent video games at that.

A friend suggested that my next newsletter be about how violent video games are affecting our kids.

It's not my thing really, but parenting and anger are two of my areas of expertise. At least professionally. Personally, I think my son might beg to differ. But professionally I have ideas.

1. Limit the time your kids can spend playing video games (any games) sensibly.

2. Talk to your kids about the things they see in games.

3. Talk to your kids about everything.

4. Listen to your kids when they talk.

5. Listen to your kids when they talk about everything.

6. Be interested in everything about your kids.

7. Be available to spend time with your kids so they don't feel like they have to play video games all the time.

8. Be a good role model regarding non-violent solutions to problems.

9. Talk about non-violent solutions to problems.

In short, while we know violent games affect kids' beliefs about violence and the acceptability of violence in the world, we also know that kids are affected most profoundly by how their parents treat them and teach them.

Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by,
feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you'll know
Crobsy, Stills & Nash

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