Online Violence: Is It Influencing Your Child?

By on 11-15-2012

kid shocked from online violenceAs parents, we do our best to protect our kids from violence, not only in the real world but in all of its digital forms as well. We do our due diligence to ensure that the Xbox and Playstation games we purchase them are age appropriate, and we would never dream of letting them watch an R-rated movie, but how vigilant are we when it comes to shielding our children’s eyes from the slew of violence that runs rampant on the Internet in the form of games, videos, and even entire websites dedicated to gore?

The Facts About Media Violence

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the answer to that question may have grave consequences indeed. In their 2009 report on media violence, the academy pinpointed violence portrayed in movies, music, and yes, computer games, as one of the key causal factors for aggression later in life. In layman’s terms, that means if your child is regularly exposed to violent acts on the screen, then he’s more likely to become violent himself. Thus, your youngster’s exposure to violence online should be a real concern.

Although the academy has called for the media to be more responsible about the kind of content they gear towards children, little has changed over the past few years. If anything, the situation has only gotten worse. The fact is that as long as kids continue to consume violent media (with or without their parent’s knowledge), the companies that stand to profit from their consumption will continue to produce it.

What You Can Do

That’s where you as a parent come in. While you may not be able to make the online world a more peaceful place for the masses, you can eliminate any violence that might appear on your own child’s computer monitor. Here’s how:

  • Talk to your child about what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to the kind of web content he or she views.
  • Explain the reasoning behind these guidelines in an age-appropriate way. Be sure your child knows that you are taking steps to protect, not punish.
  • Download a parental control app like Qustodio on your child’s computer. With Qustodio, you can block all online violent content, and track the use of inappropriate computer games, with just a single click of the mouse.

Violence on the Internet has become a real problem, but it doesn’t have to affect your family. Thanks to innovative technology, shielding your child from inappropriate content including violent acts is easier than ever!