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Don’t wait for teen years to draw the line

Beth Teitell’s article “Violent video games put parental judgment to the test” (Page A1, Jan. 8) brought me back. The thing is, you can’t start saying no to this stuff once a kid has reached his teen years. Well, you can, but the conflicts and arguments will be tougher than ever. You have to start saying no EARLY.

From the early years, kids are going to test you, and demand things they shouldn’t have, or want the “it” item because their friend has one. Saying NO early on, and walking away from the little pouting face, sets the boundaries, and using certain phrases lets children know who’s in charge.

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I remember when my son was 9 or 10, and wanted to buy a game that was edgy. I said, “This game is not going to help you become a better person. It’s not going to help you with your future and being with other people in your life.” I would say, “You’re not finished becoming who you’re going to be.” He was not happy with me.

I know there will be naysayers. There were back then too. People would say, “He’s going to see it everywhere he goes.” Nope. Not while he was under my watch. I also blocked MTV, VH1, and other stations in my home. I’m sure you could imagine how much my kids LOVED me for that.

But they survived. And so did I.

Meryl Galaid Sokolski


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