Saturday, February 11, 2006

Filtering Computer Games & Television

Virtual violence has parents and politicians worried about real-world aggression. The science behind those fears hasn't made it to the next level.

Add an arsenal of fantasy weapons and immersive sound effects and graphics, and it's the kind of exchange that could leave players pumping their fists and ready to reload. But the real-life battle is leaving many parents and researchers bewildered, divided and ready to unload. (Is it just a game?)

I have a problem with my daughter being hooked on TV watching cartoons. Although most of the cartoons that she watches help her improve her English Language, there are some cartoons on TV that are for adults (The Family Guy, etc...). These cartoon TV programs show a lot of obscene pictures, deregatory remarks and foul languages. Although we, as parents, filter the cartoons that she watches, we sometimes miss telling her to change the channel when the adult cartoons are already showing. The scary thing is that she seems to be enjoying watching it and would complain when we would ask her to change the channel.

I don't mind my daughter being a tech savvy like her parents, learning how to email and blog, downloading games, surfing from the internet and playing video games with her friends at home. But what I am worried about is that the games she's playing is becoming more intense; she gets bored already with those wholesome kiddie games.

Can you give me some helpful tips on how I should deal with these technology problems with my daughter?

RELATED TOPICS: parenting, filtering, television

Thanks to Primary Teacher UK for publishing my first entry in his blog.
Also sincerest appreciation to the DC Blogs for the kind commentary about my blog.


Owen FV said...

hi teacher sol, i think the best way for us to address this is to really have an adult be with them when they watch, and who can exercise his/her seniority and maturity over the child to decide what's good or not. pero syempre, marami pang ibang dapat i-consider.

i will follow this thread. maybe the suggestions here will help me someday when i have my own kids.

bw said...

Teacher Sol, if you are on cable TV , the best bet is to migrate to digital TV. The price increase would not be substantial esp if you bundle your internet services. The difference is with the digital receivers offer more features and controls. You can shut down specific channels as non-viewable and provide password for viewing for some. You can also filter programs by rating, where you can for example drop everything above NC-13. If you subscribe to satellite TV which by default requires digital receiver, filtering will be standard.

bw said...

PG-13 ! Sorry, I had just decaf coffee this morning - not the real one!

jotim said...

alam mo naaawa ako sa mga bata dito, hindi nila kayang maabot ang saya na naramdaman natin nong tayo ay mga bata pa habang tayo ay nag lalaro ng piko, ocho ocho, (ochohan) piko, siato, sak sak puso, nanay tatay gusto kong tinapay, habulan, at kung ano ano pa....... npaka ugma daw na maray..... as in grabe..... habang nagtuturo ang mga gan-ot, sabay namumuo ang mga ugsong sa leog, sa mga lukon lukonan, at sa iba pang parte kang hawak/..... i was a very playful kid, naalala ko wala pa yung new building sa LCSD, ang kawat mi kaito ay itong may na sakay sa likod tapos bungguan, ang mahulugan ning salo salo na tao, daog na............

doon din ako nag karoon ng pangit na experience...... minsan napasala si hiro ko nag ka girisi ang pundilyo ko mayo pa naman ako underwear ta medyo aki pa, dai pa sanay mag brief hehehehe! sus supogon daw ako sa ayos kong ito...... tapos kang second year na ako, grabe sige si kawat me, tapos gulpi si gan-ot ko, aba naamoy ko ang saidri ko amoy binata na pala ako, may ara anghit na.... ayun second year HS ako gumamit na ako deodorant heheheheh!

sus gulpi lugod ako naalala....... ako naman kang aki pa ako, dai ko man lang daw naka hiligan mag panood ning mga cartoons, not my type...... hehehehehe! mas gugustuhan ko pa na panoodon, mag timplete si marcial pimentel sa entablado saka sila pepe atienza saka si iba pang mauurag na mga politiko satuya...... hehehehehe!

about the cartoons, thats true, hindi magaganda pag kakagawa......... medyo hindi maganda ang mga words na ginagamit.... madata........

but there are good cartoon channnels na medyo ok naman talaga like disney and cartoon network.... yung iba naku madadata..........

Benjo said...

Hi there ma'am. I just got your blog somewhere in the net.

Anyway, I am (or maybe I was) a computer gamer and a cartoon addict myself, and I've experienced what your daughter was doing right now.

Well, my parents would always told me that I can only play my video games every weekends only. And I found it very effective. Be strict. Maybe at first she would really get mad at you for that. But don't worry, after sometime, somehow she WILL get another hobby herself. Probably she would get interested with more educational things like books. Make her feel that books are interesting.

Just be strict, but not violent.

Ian said...


i agree with the idea of letting children play only during weekends fridays and saturdays. letting them watch tv until a certain hour.

here in the philippines the family guy is being shown on cable tv around 6PM i guess and i agree that its not for kids at all.

during my grade school days me and my brothers would be limited to playing the "family computer" only during the christmas and summer vacation.

maila said...

Marisol --Sounds much like my son. He likes to watch TV all the time. He learns new words everyday from watching tv and that’s good for him. But it has gotten so bad that we finally decided to cut off cable tv just recently. It worked pretty well. Now he only watches 1-2 hours everyday as oppose to 8 hours. He would turn it off when his show is over. Too much tv is not good for kids.

As for computer games I never let my son on my computer by himself. There has to be someone there with him --either me or his daddy..

NvyBlu789 said...

i have seen parents do extreme things w/ extreme TV watching & video gaming:

one of my college roommates, who's mother was 4th grade teacher made a decision to buy a 13 inch Black & White tv ON PURPOSE! no fun to watch color cartoons and play video games in black and white. (you better believe that family read more books than they watched TV---5 kids, all Valedictorians and 3 sons graduated from Anapolis Naval Academy while the 2 girls graduated Summa Cum Laude in their double majors!)

my childhood friend's family (I've known her for 25 years) ONLY RECENTLY subscribed to cable TV. they reasoned that they never had time to watch all that TV so they never had cable. they enjoyed going to the movie theater more than staying home.

my Ninong & Ninang held Family Fridays and us cousins were always competing against each other in board games--like chess, bingo, scrabble, monopoly, clue, etc. till this day, it's still a favorite family tradition. there was always plenty of finger foods and even prizes for the winners!

i wasn't a TV watcher because I had 2 playful little brothers who I looked after (....maybe Rae can have a brother/sister to babysit? jk!) but i do remember being hooked on Nintendo and there was nothing really violent about Super Mario Bros 2 and Donkey Kong!

sorry for all the typos! great subject! talk to ya soon!

techiepeachy said...

Hi sol! Nothing beats parental vigilance and intervention. I wrote a post related to this in my techie blog recounting experiences with my sons. My sons know what to watch and what not to watch because I have laid down some rules. Since I can't pull them away from watching wrestling, I make sure either I or my hubby is watching with them, although I'm not enjoying it.

John Clark said...

You just reminded me of a friend who hides the computer keyboard every night after he caught his kids surfing porn sites. Personally, I don’t believe that filtering or censorship for that matter is a potent deterrent to moral corruption. The key here is education. We need to educate children on why they shouldn’t watch a particular program instead of filtering them. I’m sure our parents didn’t want us to watch adult movies and perhaps “censored” everything at home. But we still found ways on how to beat the system. Suppressing these things (without rationalizing) would only unleash the youthful curiosity of children. Of course, you don’t want to put your kids in a harm’s way. You have to educate children in a controlled environment. I just finished creating a blog for my 4th grader. I understand the risks associated with blogging by children. So I wrote the engine myself and host it on my server so I will have full control of her blog. On her end, she understands why anonymity is so important for her blog. I'll send you the URL privately by email. So far my strategy is working great on my kids. Every time I inevitably mention the word “what the…”, my 3-year-old would say “Dad, that’s a bad word”. By the way, there’s no silver bullet in parenting. What’s effective for my kids may not be effective for yours.


HELLO ALL! I will reply to your techie tips/ suggestions for my 7 year-old in a while. In the meantime, I was replenishing my drafts to be published later as my entries here when I came across this news from the Washington post last 10/4. I thought it's interesting and related to my entry:

Some health experts say they hope video and other electronic games could be used to facilitate medical treatments, improve patient outcomes and boost fitness and knowledge. Federal funding is helping some video game developers create simulated- and virtual-reality games, "exergames" and learning games. The washington Post 10/4/2005

rey said...

Let children learn things out of their own experiences. Do not make them like robots who does only what he has been programmed to. Over-protection would only cause them to be weak and dependent individuals as they grow older. But still, supervision and guidance is being called for all parents. Be vigilant though, even you're a bit loosing a hold of them. It will be best if they will be able to sort good from what's not because they know it rather than they were only told so. The more you seal things to them the more they will find holes to get through and explore things by themselves. Exploration to the reality of the world should commence as early as possible in every child's life. That's it...let them wake up each morning to the reality of life not to the falsehood of fairy tales. Books containing fairy tales are now less popular and dropped its sales already, no one's buyin' it anymore!!

jealine-anjel said...

Hi Teacher Sol. Rae is very much interested in technology. I used to go to school to learn more about computers when I was just 2 years old. Sounds it's just another thing in the block. I'm really happy today. What's Snowballs blog address again? Can you tell me?

Anonymous said...

Hey Teacher Sol,

Just got back from a two-week Teachers' Strike which paralyzed the British Columbia's public schools. One of their demand was more resources for special needs students. Special Needs Kids are integrated with regular students over here.

About your kid and TV... you are not alone. Thanks for posting this and reply of readers are very useful for me, too. I use the digital cable so I can block above PG-13 and my boys have to earn their way to watching YTV like Fairy-Odd parents or Sponge Bob... like they have to read a book or pratice writing. It is true that we cannot shield our kids from the realities of life. We have to educate and gauge the level of their maturity before exposing them to adult materials( that's why we have ratings ).

I am guilty of using TV for babysitting. It's my only time to do household chores or watch on my own. I also tried to let them use videos instead of TV so that I can control what they watch. It's effective.

Promethean Planet


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