As a parent, I completely understand how important it is to protect your children and monitor what they watch, read, or play. As a gaming parent, I know how vital it is to be on top of all of that. I say this because I see this disturbing pattern of parents all over the country blaming EVERYTHING else on things like their children's behavior. It's not the child's fault in so many of these situations. Instead, it's video games that are to blame, this or that type of music is at fault, or it's the movie or television show that is the cause.
Let me be as blunt as possible. That is one hundred percent BULLSHIT. Video games, movies, books, and t.v. aren't responsible for what your children play or see. You, the parents are. Yes, children are impressionable which is why it is all the more important for the parents to sit down with them and talk with them. It is the job of the parents to take an active role in their children's lives and know exactly what they are doing. Granted, you can not be everywhere at once, but if you are a proactive parent you do know what your children are up to.
Because there are some parents who can not seem to do this, we have things like the case hitting the Supreme Court in November about the sale of violent video games to minors. The two problems are the wording of the bill which seems to threaten first amendment rights and the fact that video games seem to be the only medium that is being targeted. Trust me, there are plenty of violent books, comics, movies, and television shows, but video games do not seem to get the same protection that they do which seems incredibly biased.
Now, I know this may have stepped on the toes of many parents with this latest blog, and they may disagree with me. That's their right and they have the freedom to disagree. I would not deny them their difference of opinion. However, I'm going to stick to my guns about what I think and I have that right also.
Children are a reflection of their parents, so you need to take that into consideration. Yes, there is a valid point to these laws are meant to protect children, but when you are using those laws to threaten another's first amendment rights, that's a problem.
When my 14 year old daughter was curious about the Twilight books, I did in fact read all of them to see what they were about and to see if there was anything inappropriate in them. I even spoke to her about some of the things that would probably raise questions with her as she read the books. It turns out, she didn't think the books were that great, but she seemed appreciative that I took the time to talk to her about it. The bottom line is parents HAVE to talk to their kids about all of this. It is important and you have to be present as a parent, not shove them in front of a video game or television to get them out of your hair, then wonder later why they do silly things like jump off a roof because they saw it on a t.v. show, then blame the show for your kid getting hurt. NO. Stop doing that. Actions have consequences and we as parents are the ones responsible for teaching our children that, no one else. This is why I have such a huge problem with the parental blame game. Instead of taking responsibility for your children, you point the finger at all the various forms of media rather than point the finger at yourselves. Take the time to sit down with your children and talk to them about the things they see and hear. It doesn't have to be a lecture. Just have a conversation with them, ask them if they have any questions or concerns about what they see, hear, or read. No one else can raise your children for you. The job of a parent is filled with a lot of hard work and responsibilities, but the rewards of having that connection and relationship with your children are worth it. It's time to take back the reins, stop blaming the various artistic mediums, and raise your children parents.