Teach your children to be critics and not consumers of media
by fivecentfamily - 3/1/13 5:23 AM
Yes, it's the parents responsibility, but not in the "keep everything 'dangerous' away from the kiddos" way. Because either they will just play/watch/listen to it at a friend's house where you don't have control, or eventually they will grow up and GORGE on all the things you said was "bad" for them. You can't HIDE your kids from media. You have to teach your kids how not be consumers of media, but critics.
Good values based on a strong belief system can trump the influences of bad media. But you have to explain the WHY of what is "bad", not just label it. It has to come from something more than just a rule-based way of living your life. Because people instinctively want to break the rules. But holding to something that drives your life that changes how you think about the world will keep you from consuming (internalizing) "bad" things because you simply see them as pointless and worthless. You can find the valuable things in even the "worst" media because you have a view of the world that throws away the worthless but finds the noble things in everything about life. When you view life this way, no matter what comes your way, it won't change how you THINK about things, because you are grounded in something bigger than all this.
My kids play fairly violent games (Halo series, Call of Duty series, Skyrim), but they know the difference between a game and real life. They know life is precious - all life - and in real life they fight to protect all life from harm. They know there is no reset button or "checkpoints" in life, and that it only takes ONE "hit" to ruin someone for life. They hear the bad language in games, but they dislike it not because mom and dad say it's "bad", but because it simply serves no purpose and is annoying to listen to over and over again. Sometimes they will play with the sound off just to avoid hearing it (THEIR idea). They will "play the bad guy" in role-playing games, but they understand it's just fantasy - they would never even consider doing anything to damage or steal someone else's property or hurt them in real life. They don't learn their values from media, they FILTER media with values they have already had written on their hearts. I'm not saying they are perfect or they will never stumble, but they are headed in the right direction in regards to the media and the influence it wants over us.