Many video games are a bad influence

What is your opinion of Wii, Xbox, Play-Station and other types of video games?

Question: What is your opinion of Wii, Xbox, Play-Station and other types of video games?

They’ve been claiming a big portion of our son’s time over the past few months, and I’m getting uneasy about it.

Answer: Depending on the particular games in question, you may have a valid cause for concern.

After poring over 41 studies conducted over four decades, two University of Michigan researchers concluded in 2007 that violent media, including television, film and video games, pose a significant public-health threat.

In a separate study that year, a father-son research team from Iowa State University and the State University of New York at Buffalo found that elementary-school students who played violent video games were 263 per cent more likely to act aggressively as rated by peers and teachers than those who played only nonviolent games.

Furthermore, some video games add unhealthy sexual themes and profanity to the mix, not to mention that the American Medical Association estimates that one in 10 video gamers is addicted.

Of course, not all video games are problematic.

Certain sports games, for instance, can be loads of fun.

Some can even be educational.

In Phoenix, two surgeons at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center found that resident physicians’ surgical skills improved markedly after playing Wii’s motion-controlled games an hour before conducting a virtual surgery.

Even so, I’d advise you to put clear limits on the amount of time your son will be allowed to spend with video games or the Internet so that he won’t become obsessed with them.

Insist that he avoid the troublesome ones altogether.

With realistic guidelines, I think it’s possible to keep this kind of activity under control rather than letting it control your son and your family.

Question: You place great emphasis on instilling respect during the developmental years.

Why is that so important?

Do you just want adults to feel powerful and in control of these little people?

Answer: Certainly not.

Respect is important for several very specific reasons.

First, the child’s relationship with his parents provides the basis for his attitude toward every other form of authority he will encounter.

It becomes the cornerstone for his later outlook on school officials, law-enforcement officers, future employers and the people with whom he will eventually live and work.

Teachers, for example, can tell very quickly when a boy or girl has been allowed to be defiant at home — because those attitudes are brought straight into the classroom.

Again, relationships at home are the first and most important social encounters a youngster will have, and the problems experienced there often carry over into adult life.

Second, if you want your child to accept your values when she reaches her teen years, then you must be worthy of her respect during her younger days.

When a child can successfully defy your authority during her first 15 years, laughing in your face and stubbornly flouting your leadership, she develops a natural contempt for everything you stand for.

“Stupid old Mom and Dad!” she thinks. “I’ve got them wound around my little finger. Sure they love me, but I really think they’re afraid of me.”

A child may not utter these words, but he feels them each time he wins the confrontations with his mom or dad.

Third, and related to the second, respect is critical to the transmission of faith from one generation to the next.

The child who disdains his mother and father is less likely to emulate them on the things that matter most.

Why?

Because young children typically identify their parents — and especially their fathers — with God.

Therefore, if Mom and Dad are not worthy of respect, then neither are their morals, their country, or even their most deeply held convictions.

James Dobson is founder and chairman emeritus of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80995 (www. focusonthefamily.org). Questions and answers are excerpted from Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide and Bringing Up Boys, both published by Tyndale House.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conservatives call for Trudeau to testify at committee on WE Charity deal

Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion is already investigating whether Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act

Beat the heat this summer with pop-up spray parks

Starting next week, spray parks will be popping up in neighbourhoods across… Continue reading

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Quebec police continue search for father, one day after missing girls found dead

Bodies were found in a wooded area of Quebec City suburb

11 rafters rescued from Red Deer River

Red Deer RCMP rescued a party of 11 river rafters Saturday afternoon… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Canmore RCMP respond to multiple hiking injury calls this weekend

EMS and RCMP responded to three separate and unrelated hiking accidents in Kananaskis Country.

You can’t put a price on memories

Some people would rather buy something than sell something. Some people are… Continue reading

Masks and gloves: Elections Saskatchewan preparing for pandemic election

REGINA — Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and… Continue reading

Quebec police say they found 2 bodies in St-Apollinaire during search for 2 girls

SAINT-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — Quebec provincial police continue to search for the father… Continue reading

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA chief Don Fehr reflect on RTP, CBA deals

Gary Bettman and Don Fehr finally have a chance to catch their… Continue reading

NHL’s road to Edmonton and Toronto featured plenty of obstacles

Since early March, the novel coronavirus has affected almost every decision facing… Continue reading

Florida sets record week for coronavirus deaths

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus death rate rose again Saturday, setting… Continue reading

Trump’s defiant help for Stone adds to tumult in Washington

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s intervention into a criminal case connected to… Continue reading

Most Read