The Hunger Games for 12 Year Olds!? Give Me a Break!

Parents need to be aware of a book series targeted toward teens that is growing in popularity.  The first one in that series is called The Hunger Games and children, tweens, and young teens are asking for it with excitement.  The story involves a reality TV show where 24 teens are turned loose and must kill each other off trying to be the last one to survive.  The killers use the most primitive weapons available to maim and kill each other.  Violence is the number one issue with this book series.  You may want read it yourself first before deciding to allow your children to read it.  You can purchase it here:
The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set

According to the watchdog Web site Common Sense, their reviewers have decided that children as young as 12 can read this book series and I completely disagree.  In my opinion, Common Sense Media has lost its common sense.  Although there is little or no sex and drugs in these books, my issue is that the intense level of violence and the whole focus of killing each other is not appropriate for children under 16, the approximate ages of the teens in the story.

I know this is going to raise some eyebrows of parents and parent educators, especially those who lean to the left of allowing children and young teens access to media that might be considered too mature by many standards.  And many are already touting the educational value of these story lines as tools for studying matters of social studies and society.  But children, tweens, and young teens do not need to have their focus pointed toward killing each other, regardless of how valuable the content of media might be.

Case in point, we have a 14-year-old teen daughter at home and with her knowledge, her mother and I monitor the texting conversations she has with her friends.  The majority of her friends are allowed to watch (in many cases) unsupervised television such as Jersey Shore and the Kardashians, and visit unmonitored Web sites such as Omegle and Chat Roulette.  Our teen is not.  What my wife and I have noticed is that the focus of the friends is on adult-natured topics, too often.  They use adult-natured terminology targeted toward sex, drugs, and inappropriate relationships.  It is clear to us that our teenager is influenced by her friends, driving her curiosity more into the realm of adult-natured topics.

The result of this inappropriate influence on our teenager from her friends is a more rapid maturity rate.  So many might want to say to me, “What’s the big deal, they aren’t going to run out and smoke pot or have sex.”  To these people I say, “Your right.”  But why promote the rapid maturity of our teenagers, boys and girls, just because many parents are not engaged in what their teens are being exposed to because they are naïve or lack the courage to set up solid limits and boundaries.

There are two more books in the Hunger Games series and the topic of teens killing teens continues to get worse.  “Catching Fire,” and “MockingJay” move the bloodshed and torture to higher levels, pushing the envelope on violence.  Shame on Common Sense Media for suggesting that 12 year olds can read this.  I encourage you to check out the Kindle ebook, “Media and the American Child,” to see even greater impacts to this rapid maturation of our innocent children.  You can purchase the book here:
Media and the American Child

Let’s preserve their childhood as long as we can and stop the parents who freely say, “Oh relax, they are going to see it somewhere.”

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