If you’ve got teens, here’s a statistic that won’t surprise you: 97 percent of kids in the US ages 12 – 17 play video games.
But, here’s a statistic that will: more than half of all video games on the market are violent.
And, here’s the real kicker: earlier this year, pediatric groups concluded that violent video games are known to increase aggression.
Three years ago, the American Psychology Association created a task force and demonstrated that there’s a link between violent video game use and increased aggressive behavior, along with a decrease in social behavior, displaying emotions, morals and empathy.
We need to realize that violence in video games are a threat to children. Virtual violence teaches youth to associate success with killing and violence … and there’s a big problem with that because these values leak from the video games to real life.
So, what can parents do to change this?
As a clinical psychologist who has spent decades watching kids slip into the online world and display frightening signs of of technology overuse (violence, aggression, suicidal tendencies), it’s important for parents to take a more active role in the video games children play. Specifically, parents can:
- Research video games their children want to play and take into consideration the rating of the game when deciding if it is appropriate
- Be mindful of long term effects of video game use
- Offer alternatives to violent video games such as educational games that focus on adventure, skill-building or critical thinking
Are you uncertain about how to work with your children to make their online experience safer and reduce the dangerous lasting effects of online use? Learn more about our home program that teaches children (and parents) how to be safer online.