I was recently talking with a 1st Grade Teacher and she was discussing with me that on Monday mornings the kids in her classroom are asked to share with the rest of the class one thing that they did over the weekend. She sets the perimeters that they can’t say that they ate, slept, watched TV or played video games. I asked her why she tells them they can’t talk about the video games, and she told me it was because that would include most of her class, and they would state that almost every time. I was in disbelief that this was for kids that were six and seven. She said the scary thing is not THAT they are playing, it is WHAT they are playing and that they are playing them unmonitored, and for however long they want, without much input from the parents.
Because of this conversation with this particular teacher, it has me wondering about video games and children even more. I think we need to beg parents to take more interest in these things. The kids that are playing these video games endlessly are the ones that are not spending enough time doing their homework, who aren’t interacting or fully engaging with others. These are the children that aren’t experiencing things and aren’t outside enjoying what the world has to offer.
As I have stated before, video games can help certain children, and in certain situations, but those are not the majority of users, nor are they the “normal” consumer. The “normal” consumer is not using video games once a week as a family activity. The “normal” consumer is not playing phonics games on their XBOX. The “normal” consumer is not playing sensory stimulating games with their therapist. The “normal” consumer that the gaming industry is hoping to target is one that will buy the top of the line games, and play them so much, that they will need to go and buy another game because they have already conquered the last game.
I am just wondering who sticks up for the kid who has parents that don’t care about them and let them play Modern Warfare at 6 years old until all hours of the night. I am wondering at what point is that considered abuse or neglect? I am just posing the question of when do we cross the line as parents from being passive parents to being hurtful and neglectful or even abusive parents to our children by letting them watch terrible, horrible, inappropriate things that will hurt them, in this case certain video games?