I’m going to take you back at least ten years to 2002. I was engaged in online gaming of a very popular first person shooter game titled SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. It was published by Zipper Interactive and first released on Aug of 2002. It is the grand daddy of the military style combat games. Part of the games attraction was the ability to connect to a remote site via internet and team with others to form clans. Clans then competed against one another. The feature had an audio component, where if the player wore a headset, he or she was able to communicate with other clan members. I used that option four or five times because it became an incredible learning experience, which ultimately prompted me to communicate my concerns to the FBI.
During the course of that experience, I listened to a 13 year old girl offer herself in order to be admitted into a specific clan. I heard individuals claiming to be 15 and in school setting up drug deals. Talk about a cesspool!
Well, you’ll be please to know that the situation has become much worse. In 2002, your child had a play station and more than likely a desktop PC; at least he or she had to stay at home to use them. Today, that child has an iPhone, iPad or other device that allows great mobility and unrestrained access to the internet.
Folks, when you made a decision to have children you failed to accept the responsibility that comes with that choice; preferring to be challenged by your own professional development and career. In lieu of giving your kids of your valuable time, you supplied them with PlayStations, XBOX, iPhones, iPads, notebook PCs. How awesome is that, look at how I’ve empowered my children!
Well mom and dad what you’ve done is turn loose your babe in a jungle. Have you noticed how much less time they’re demanding of you? Have you noticed that there are fewer kids coming over just to horse around? Have you noticed that they lost an interest in exercise? Have you noticed that they are less skilled at face-to-face interpersonal relations and problem resolution? I’ll stop here because I think you get the message.
As parents, you need to rethink your approach to parenting and recognize that it is going to take much more time and effort on your part. There is no substitute for mom and dad, and none for interpersonal interaction. Isolating your child electronically or physically is a recipe for disaster; resulting in more Adam Lanza(s). It’s not guns that are killing your children, it’s you.