TV, Video Games, and Your Kids by Mark Brandenburg MA,, CPCC

There’s been a great debate in our country for thelast number of years
concerning violent TV andvideo games.

There are thousands of studies indicating thatthere’s a link between
violent video images andincreased aggressiveness and violence in children.

There are also studies that say there’s littlerelationship between the
two, and that there mayeven be some visual/spatial benefits that kidsreceive
from video games.

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

Common sense tells me this is probably notbenefiting them.

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

For parents, this may be the wrong question to beasking. Perhaps there
are other issues here thatwould be useful to consider.

As a coach who works with parents, I see thefrequent power struggles
that come up around videogames and TV watching. When I see young kids infront
of a screen, I wonder about all of the otherthings those kids might be doing.

But it’s extremely difficult to be a parentwithout the “electric babysitter”
these days,especially considering how busy parents are today.There is also
the added complication of otherparents who allow greater access to video
gamesand TV to their kids.

So what do you do about this issue?

How about using your gut instinct and taking afirm stand?

A while back my wife and I decided that when ourkids were young we’d
like them to spend the largemajority of their time interacting with otherhuman
beings, not screens. We also realized thatat some point in the future this
may change. Butbecause of this decision, we’re sometimes lookedat as peculiar
by people we know.

And while it does cause some hardship, we haven’tregretted it for a

It simply seemed like the right thing to do.

I would challenge all parents to look at this issueand to make a decision
about what kind of familyculture you want. And don’t base it on what theJones’
are doing across the street or what popularculture tells you to do.

Make your decision, set your limits, and do yourkids an enormous service
by standing by yourlimits, no matter what. Firmly and respectfullystate
that, “this is what we do in our house” andthen stand by it.

I don’t know if video games and violent TV makekids more violent. And
I don’t think TV or videogames are inherently evil.

I just want the best for my kids, because they’llonly be kids once in
their life.

About the Author

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, is the author of 25 Secrets of Emotionally
Intelligent Fathers (
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