The headline was splashed all over the news; "Violent Video Games can be Linked to Adolescent Aggression, according to a new study."
The study was completed by Dartmouth researchers who analyzed young people from 24 countries from around the world and found that there is a strong correlation between children playing violent video games and acting out aggressively.
Read the study here.
Does that mean that children who play violent video games will grow up to be extremely violent adults? No. But many parents and caregivers already know that spending too much time playing video games is not healthy. The struggle is real.
Parents say things like this to me all of the time, "I can't take away my kids' video game, they will play on their phone." Or, "How do I get my kids to stop playing these games so much?" and, "It's so hot outside; there's nothing else for them to do!"
But in spite of our frustration, there are some things that we can do to have more control over our kids' video game habits.
Here are three tips for how to deal with violent video games and to help our kids turn in a more positive direction.
- Have a conversation. As soon as your kids are old enough to play video games, they are old enough to have a conversation and learn about the difference between violent and nonviolent games and their effects.
- Set boundaries. Establish clear boundaries as to what type or rating of games are acceptable and not acceptable. You should also talk about time limits, online chat during gameplay, paying for games and online bullying and any other issues or concerns.
- Enable parental controls. Practically every video game console, mobile phone, handheld device, and computer can be managed with parental control software. Read more about how to enable parental controls here.
f you have an adolescent whom you feel is spending too much time playing video games, especially violent ones, and is struggling in other areas of their life, we want you to know there is help.
Call us to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our caring counselors to see if counseling would help your teen.