Here is my take on that. Children will be exposed to these influences sooner or later. If you prohibit stuff, they will find ways to do it without you finding out. Either way, at some point – sooner than you want, sooner than you imagine – you will have to relinquish your control (unless you are going to ground your kid indefinitely, which you should not because it would be a violation of their freedom!). Certainly, there are some things that you should be strict about, for example, drugs. But computer games? So many kids play them. Explaining to your kid why he or she should not do that will turn into a major pain in your neck.
Most importantly, when you prohibit your children from using technology or consuming certain media, you lose many valuable teachable moments. For example, Ana told me that when her son described how much fun it was to hurt “the bad guys” she asked him whether he thought these guys really deserved it, and how they might have felt as he was shooting them. This made him pause. If our children are afraid to tell us about films they watch or computer games they play, we will never be able to have these meaningful discussions with them.
You might give up some of your control, but you can always have your child’s trust. If you are careful not to be too judgmental about popular culture and technology she or he enjoys, you might have amazing conversations that will enrich both of you. Control is an illusion, but open lines of communication are not that difficult to maintain, if you know how to listen.