As parents we often feel hopeless against the type and quality of TV and gaming content being fed to our kids day in and day out. If you fear that uncensored TV and gaming content can corrupt your child, then with a little bit of introspection and creativity you can cope up with the situation.
At times it is often argued that there should be no ban on violent games or shows, as kids do not turn violent or rash by playing games or become influenced by TV shows. But those concerned about child safety and parents feel otherwise. They tend to directly blame games and TV content for the behavior of kids and teens.
Yes, it’s a kind of eternal debate where each end will hold the other responsible, with some taking sides for and against.
But then these are our kids that we should be concerned about. The marketeers and content producers will continue to target kids as they know they have a huge audience at their disposal that can be hooked on to anything no matter how mindless it might seem just in the name of entertainment. We should continue with our protests and debate on the issue as long as we can and as parents we can do more than that to help our kids.
Times have changed since we were kids. Over two decades ago there were few channels and fewer shows and gaming was limited. Today the kids are being hit with God knows what. With each passing day new ones are popping up now and then with 24×7 feed and access to all sorts of games is one the rise.
Though every kid or teen will not become violent, rash or naughty, but there is a chance that one in a thousand will try to imitate their adored fictional characters or heroes and end up hurting himself or some other kid.
How can you make sure that your kid is not among that one in thousands?
1. Take time out:
Our life has become too busy. To earn money and save some for the future we work hard and need some time for ourselves too, to unwind. But we have to be a little selfless here and take time out for our kids. We often find it very convenient when we are busy to make the kids watch TV or let them play games to keep them occupied.
But as soon as you finish off work, make sure that you can distract your kid’s attention away from the TV or game. You might have a job or even your spouse might be out on one. Whichever category you are in, spend some quality time with your kids whenever you are free even if you have to sacrifice a little time of yours.
2. Be Creative :
Think about some activity to distract your kid’s attention. You can do this by persuading him/her that the next thing you are going to do is more interesting than watching TV. So plan for some activity and make it sound very attractive as the marketing guy does to sell you stuff you never want. The only difference being here that, you are trying to sell your planned activity your kid needs.
3. Help your kid to differentiate:
Kids often tend to try out jumps and stunts that are depicted in the TV shows or games. Make them see the difference. It is not easy and takes some time before you can get your point through. You will have to often repeat the same points over and over, till your kids can learn to differentiate.
You have to do this patiently and it’s very important to be repetitive. Why? Because, the TV content is repetitive and that’s why your kid gets hooked to imitate the actions of the characters without understanding their fictional nature. TV content is less harmful if it’s not repetitive. More the repetition the more you will have to make you kid unlearn and learn to see the difference between fiction and real life. And avoid letting your kid see repeated TV shows of the same nature if you can. You can do this by alternating the locking and opening of different channels every other day.
4. Make a TV free zone:
Not everyone will be able to do it but you can give it a try. Make a no TV zone where your kid spends most of the time at home and sleeps. This way you can practically cut down the hours he/she is exposed to seeing a TV set. If you can’t remove the TV physically, you can try to unhook the Cable feed to the TV for a few hours. But remember you have to attend to your kids or make them busy in an activity to keep them occupied.
If you can save your kids early on from this uncensored TV and gaming content, you can help them through their teens and turn them into fine young adults. You were once a kid too. Introspect and proceed. Don’t be too dictating or harsh with your kids. Too much of coxing has a negative effect. Instead be patient and understanding.
Remember you can win this debate by simply spending more time with your kids and channelizing their energy creatively and constructively.