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Violent Video Games: Are They Appropriate for Kids?

Particularly in the teen years, kids need to know why their parents make certain decisions, whether they agree with those decisions or not. Your kids are more likely to respect your decisions about the games they play if you make those decisions with diligence, and have specific reasons for allowing or banning them.

Set clear rules and apply them consistently. If that means that all M-rated games are off-limits in your house, then say so. If it means you'll review any potential game purchase on a case-by-case basis, then that should also be clear. But what happens if your child borrows an inappropriate game from a friend, or you find out that he's been playing such a game at the friend's house? You might consider calling the friend's parents and sharing your concerns with them.

Consider also enforcing a strict time limit on gameplay sessions. The appropriate amount of play time is something you'll have to determine for your child, but it should be the same each weekday, and longer on the weekends if you so choose. Ensure that game time doesn't take time away from things like homework and outdoor activities. As with most hobbies, playing video games can be a valuable and fulfilling part of a child's social and personal life. But it's equally important for him to experience a wide range of activities, places, and people.



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