As a mother of a teenage son, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve walked into a room and turned off a video game or TV program that I felt was inappropriate for a still developing child. But despite how often I pull the plug or refuse to let him buy certain products, the reality is that our Supreme Court just made my job and the job of other parents that much more difficult. Ruling on Monday that violent and dangerous video games could not be banned to minors, the Supreme Court in essence said to all of us: you’re on your own.
Raising a child in today’s culture of aggression, accessibility to negative influences and overall instability is a challenge for any mother out there. Once upon a time, there used to be a concept of the community. Regardless of how much our mothers and fathers were working, we knew that a neighbor or elder could and would keep an eye on us. We knew that we couldn’t engage in certain behaviors because it would without fail get back to our parents. There was a real sense of looking out for each other, and a profound sense of looking out for future generations. But today, the ‘unity’ in community is lost and the ones to suffer the most are the kids.
As a busy, working mother, how can I physically be everywhere my son is? The reality is, no parent can be with his or her child 24/7. And while we may restrict gruesome video games in our homes, who will protect the kids when they set foot into the outside world? Knowing that my son wasn’t running around in the streets, I took comfort in the notion that video games at least provided an alternative, safe form of recreation for young people. But what are we teaching them if these games are inundated with nothing but guns, shooting and graphic violence? How different is that from what’s tragically out on the streets? And what kind of subliminal impact are we having on these kids if we flood them with these messages?
The Supreme Court has failed to protect us in the most fundamental manner. Who will prevent our children from the devastating material designed to pollute and tarnish their minds, body and soul? In order to raise a strong, educated and focused generation, it takes a village – including all levels of government. It’s unfortunate that ours just let us down.