“Should I stop my sons from playing violent video games?”

Hello! Welcome to Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,
coming to you live on Facebook every noon, Wednesdays, to answer your parenting questions,
right here at Teen Therapy Center in Woodland Hills, California. Here is today's question.
Hi, Kent! Hello! I am so upset about the recent mass shootings. Me, too. All three of my sons love
violent first -person shooter video games. and the media is saying that it is a big part of the
violence we see in America today. Since you are a therapist and talk to boys and young men all
the time, do you think that these video games, where it's all about killing people, are causing
them to be violent? Should I stop my sons from playing these games? I agree with you about the
concern about the mass shootings. You know, of course, the recent shootings were in Dayton,
Ohio and El Paso, Texas, where a lot of people lost their lives, unfortunately, and it deserves
a lot of our respect and acknowledgment. And I think

all the families connected to these horrible tragedies go through tremendous loss and pain.
And it affects everyone in the whole country, because there are people who are afraid to go to
school, afraid to go to the mall. Luckily it is a small sample of the violence that we see in America,
but it is a concern and I totally get it. And I've heard a lot of ideas in the media of what's causing
these issues. I'm not gonna be here to tell you how to fix this problem because I don't know how
to fix the problem, but I'm gonna talk to you about video games, violent video games, and my take
on this. First of all, Do I think violent video games are creating mass shooters? No, I do not.
I have issues with video games, but that's not the issue. In fact, you know, with all, you know,
the violence in America, the media says, according to research studies, violences have been
on a steady, significant decline the last 25 years. There's a much reduced, a big reduction
in violence in America than there was

back in the early 90s and before then. It's interesting enough, there's a big increase in video
games since then. You can also say the same thing about teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is going
down and violent sorry video games and social media is going up. I don't know if they're correlated
but that is a hypothesis. Now here's the thing about violent video games or actually video games
in general. It doesn't matter if it's a first -person shooter or it's a race car game or any kind
of game. Video games are designed to get you excited, get you pumped up and feeling really good
and it brings up all the adrenaline and the aggression that someone might have if they were playing
basketball or skateboarding or tennis or you go back 20 ,000 years and they're hunting an antelope
or fending off a lion, right? But with those other exercises, those other activities, you're
moving your body. You have all this energy in you for aggression and you're using it to run fast,
to fight off the to, you know,

whatever it is you're trying to do. To play basketball. But with a video game, all you're doing
is this. You're sitting down, and you're getting all this adrenaline, and all this adrenaline
and aggression pumped up inside of you, and it's got nowhere to go. So, you go to your 14 -year
-old and say, hey, it's time for dinner. Please wash your hands. And they throw their controller
and say, what are you talking about? You can't make me go now! I don't have to wash my hands! And
they start screaming and yelling like what is going on? I'm just asking you to go wash your hands
It could be because your kid has so much Aggression and adrenaline from playing CS go or whatever
game he's playing that he doesn't know how to get it out So he lashes out because you're asking
him to wash his hands But if he was just playing basketball or tennis or something like that He
probably wouldn't have the same reaction because he got all that adrenaline and aggression
out Yeah, I'm not saying the video games

are bad or wrong or evil But there may need to be tempered that may need to have limits around those
things You know the video games again bring up a lot of energy with no outlet as opposed to tennis
or Parkour or any other physical activity helps you release all that aggression all that tension
Again, I don't think CS go or fortnight or any other video game is going to cause your kid to be
a mass shooter You know, what causes a mass shooter? I don't know. I can only speak in generalities,
but it's a sense of loss and hopelessness sense of depersonalization of others and blame of
others And I guess access to weapons. I guess I don't know But again video games are not a key cause
There are many countries that play more video games per hour than America like South Korea,
Japan There are no mass shootings in those countries There's a lot less violence in those countries
than this country. So how is that correlated? I'm not sure, but if you if your kids love these
games, you've already introduced

them, it's hard to put that genie back in the bottle. But if you want to set some limits and boundaries
on that, you can do that. We've talked about that in previous episodes. If you'd like me to talk
about more about that, email me again. Ask me some specific questions. I'd love to answer them
here on Tips on Teens. And if you have other questions you'd like me to answer on parenting, send
us an email. TipsOnTeens, TipsOnTeens, I'm sorry, yes, TipsOnTeens at teentherapycenter
.com or just direct message us right here on Facebook and we will see you next Wednesday at 12
o 'clock. Thanks a lot, guys. See you then. Bye -bye.

This week’s #TipsOnTeens question centers around the controversial idea that violent video games may be influencing school shooters. What do you think about this possible connection?

“Hi Kent, I am so upset about the recent mass shootings. All three of my sons love violent first person shooter video games and the media is saying that it is a big part of the violence we see in America today. Since you are a therapist and talk to boys and young men all the time, do you think that these video games where it’s all about killing people are causing them to be violent? Should I stop my sons from playing these games?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.