Buying Power is in The Hands of Parents, Not The Judicial System
For anyone keeping track, the score on parents vs. video game manufacturers is zero to one; that is if you’re one of the parents petitioning that video games are to blame for the upswing in violent teenagers.
The recent Supreme Court ruling against the California proposed law banning the selling of violent video games to minor children has parents reeling. This is clearly a win for video game manufacturers and a huge loss to parents struggling to control what video games their children play. But you’ll have to pardon me if I don’t join the sobbing parents in California or any other parent that may be hoping for a similar law to be passed in their state, because I have a rather simple solution for the so-called problem with children purchasing violent video games:
Stop Giving Children Money. There, I said it. You don’t want kids to buy a violent video game? Stop giving them the money to do it. It’s really not rocket science and I know in our touchy-feely new age parenting, there is a constant need for our kids to like us and be friends with us but at the end of every day you have to ask yourself, Who the heck is in control here? You or the kids?
Personally, I like control. I like the power of telling my kids no for their own good and I outright love saying “No” when other parents are saying yes even when they know that saying yes was a bad idea to begin with.
Perhaps that makes me a bit of a self-absorbed, control freak parent but if I don’t want my kids to watch something, I don’t let them. If I don’t want them to buy something, I don’t give them the money to do it. It’s a pretty simple concept really, all it takes is a parent with a backbone and the desire to be the one in charge and make the decisions in the parent-child relationship. This line of thinking also falls under turning off the television and making them play outside instead of playing video games but I digress.
Secondly, I think the California courts were right in staying out of this retail war. What kids can and can’t buy really isn’t for the courts to decide. This is a decision that has to be left to the parents and if parents don’t want their kids to purchase something that’s inappropriate then you don’t supply them with the funds to do it.
I realize that when a teenager is old enough to have a job and a car that does create a bit of a problem in controlling a teenager’s money, but it can be done. It absolutely can be. Plus, at some point, you have to trust your kids to use good judgment in their purchasing decisions and let’s face it, we can’t control everything forever.
I am also smart enough to know that our children do have friends whose parents will let them buy the violent video games and if you’re in that position, you have to decide: keep your child from hanging out with that friend or let them hang out at your house where things like video games can be monitored?
Still, while we do have the ability to control the purse strings and our children’s purchases, why not do it? Why not stand up and say, “No. You cannot buy that video game. Can we compromise on something else?” and see what happens.
I foresee this as being an ongoing battle that is only going to get more heated as manufacturers cater to children and future purchasing generations but forcing the courts to make a decision that ultimately is my job as a parent, seems a bit ridiculous to me.
What about you? Do you control your children’s purchases? Do you trust them to make sound buying decisions or try to influence them in any way when it comes to buying things they want?