Violent Video Games Make Us Better Parents

Video gamesDid you hear that sound this morning? It was the sound of thousands of video game store clerks breathing a giant sigh of relief that they don't have to take on the role of parenting your kids because you're just too darn lazy. The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot ban the sales of violent video games to kids because they're protected under kids' right to free speech -- just like books.

And as a parent, I couldn't be happier to see those games remain out there on the shelves. Blasphemy, I know! A mom of a 6-year-old just said she's happy the Supreme Court didn't yank those shoot 'em up, kill 'em, bang bang games away from those kiddos. But here's the thing.


I don't need the Supreme Court to take the violent video games away from my 6-year-old. I do it myself. We live in a gaming household, where my husband is dedicated to the likes of Fallout. But she's 6. I act like a parent, and I buy what is appropriate and only what's appropriate. She plays soccer on Kinect. She dances to Just Dance. She loves her Nickelodeon-themed Wii game. She's 6, people. I buy stuff that seems appropriate for a 6-year-old, and I ignore the other stuff. I don't let it offend me simply because it's there.

Why is this such a hard concept for people? The same concept holds for when we go into bookstores or the video section at Target. We only go into the kids' section of clothing stores, and if I see something that looks too old there (because really, have you seen some of that stuff for little girls? GHASTLY), I open my two lips and I do what I've done since I was probably about 1 or maybe 1 1/2? I say NO.

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. We all learn it pretty young. But people are so willing to pass it off onto someone else. I'm not. Keeping the violent video games out there where kids can access them forces us to be better parents instead of leaning on the store clerks to police our kids for us, to be our babysitters.

I want the choice, frankly. I want to be able to send my 6-year-old with the money she's saved up from whatever to buy her Dad his shoot-'em-up game for his birthday and not have a store clerk question me on it. I want to be able to decide when she's old enough for said shoot-'em-up game. And when she's old enough for books about sex and guns and rock and roll, I'll decide on those too.

I want to make the decisions about my kid, not the state. It makes me feel good to make those decisions, to actually act like a good parent. How about you?


Image via rynosoft/Flickr

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