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Parents, We Need to Wake Up in 2013!

Have we become desensitized to what’s acceptable for our children? Let’s make 2013 the year of moral awakening.

It’s Christmas week. Peace and joy should be filling the air.

My plan for this column was to talk about sweet childhood Christmas memories. How, when I was six, my favorite gift was a homemade play kitchen that my mom frugally crafted out of a large cardboard box.

It had an oven with a door that opened. Lovingly painted coils provided a stovetop for cooking. She even made cardboard knobs that I could turn.

It was all my parents could afford; yet it’s one of the only presents that stands out in my memory.

But as I reflect upon my past, my emotions overwhelm me once again. My mind goes to the lost lives of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As much as I want this to be a joyous time, it still hurts so much, no matter where my thoughts roam. They were six too.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen the debates on gun control and mental health issues.

But the thing that stood out most for me was a story about Max Goldstein, a 12-year-old boy from Newtown, Conn., who decided to throw away all of his violent video games.

The impact of seeing the sorrow within his community was enough to motivate Goldstein to start a movement he calls “Played Out.”

Its slogan: “We choose not to play.”

Upon attending the funeral of his brother’s friend, Daniel Barden, the sense of reality was much greater to him, causing him to make the decision to throw away his video games and encourage others to do the same.

Bins have been distributed throughout Newtown for anyone who wants to clean house of violent games. Goldstein hopes the movement will spread, with a goal to cut ownership of these games in American homes by a third.

Quite optimistic for a seventh-grader!

In our home, we don’t allow ANY violent games, movies or television shows. This is something we have been ABSOLUTELY committed to. The sad news is that there are parents who are so busy they don’t do the research.

Or they simply don't believe it makes a difference.

Right now, I feel like I’ve failed my kids in that sense.

I took them to see the movie “Wreck It Ralph.” I heard it was about vintage video games and that it would be a fun flick to see with the kids. I didn't do my research.

As soon as the assault weapons appeared and became prevalent throughout most of the movie, I felt sick in my stomach. I wanted to gather my boys in my arms and race out of that theater.

How was this violence okay for kids? There's NO justification for it!

Can’t we go back to the days of Pac-Man, Q*bert and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Let's make that change in 2013. Together we can make a difference ... not just for us, but for those 20 sweet children who will never have a chance.

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