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Video Games | What Parents need to Know.
Video Games

A new study finds a link between violent games played by children and aggressive behavior.  The kids report that the longer they play and the more they play aggressive games, they start thinking in an aggressive way and they have more aggressive attitudes.  That is not necessarily a link to violence, but it tells us that the exposure, particularly for young kids, does have a negative effect in the way they think.  There appears to be no difference between boys and girls, ranging from 8 to 17 years of age.  In other words, girls are just as sensitive to this as boys are.  

There is a big difference between watching a violent movie and playing a violent video game, which is a very engaging, interactive experience.  Parents have to be more involved.   (Dr. Harold  Koplewicz, child and adolescent psychiatrist and President of the Child Mind Institute, “Violent video games tied to combative thinking in study"  CBS News, March 25, 2014)

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  • Some parents rely heavily on OpenDNS, a free wifi filtering service — it redirects all internet activity on your wifi signal to a different Domain Naming Service (DNS) that can be filtered based on your preferences. It works through your router. It filters everything from gaming, gambling, pornography, and lingerie sites to cheating, dating, video sharing, social media, etc.  It has robust options to customize to each family’s preferences. It is a baseline tool, and every family needs some sort of filtering support. It also disables the capabilities of browsers to support “private browsing,” if you select that option. You can see every website that is visited from any device that is using that signal. It is a free service.

  • There are quite a lot of new tools for monitoring teen activity, but almost all of them have workarounds or drawbacks.  Some families do not allow their children to have internet enabled phones, which are too much of a temptation, because there are too many workarounds that other youth will describe and detail.