I think some people are misunderstanding me slightly. I 100% agree that it is the parents responsibility for what the kids are allowed to watch and how they interpret it.
For reference, I grew up in a relatively “unsheltered” environment:
-TV kids played “cops and robbers” or “cowboys and indians”, my brother and I played “VC Ambush”.
-I could shoot a gun and drive a car before I was legally able to do either one.
-Since the age of 8 I have broken 11 bones, never any of my own and all without malicious intent.
-I have been hit by a go-kart.
-Oh yeah, we rode bikes without helmets too.
and to my knowledge, I’ve turned out normal.
That said, there has to be a balance struck somewhere. Yes, they should definitely grow up and learn about the real world, but they also need to socialize and play creatively like kids.
Yes, they can learn lessons about discipline, good sportsmanship, fitness, self-defense… but you don’t generally teach calculus to third graders and I’m of the mind that a four-year-old watching blood run out of Edwin Dewees’ head like a leaky faucet or watching Tim Silvia’s arm snap is needlessly exposing them to stuff they can neither understand nor use. I’m not trying to “shield” anyone, just trying to ascertain when it would be better for a child to go play rather than watch someone get choked into unconsciousness.
Thanks for the input.[/quote]
I think if the kid starts showing a genuine interest in the sport that might be a good time. I was watching some UFC fights on youtube and my son walked up behind me and said “watcha’ watchin’?”. I told him it was MMA. He sat there and watched and was totally focused on the fight. When it was over he asked to watch another.
I made sure the fights weren’t ones where guys REALLY got hurt. However the PPV event over Christmas he watched was the one where Forrest Griffen got his head pounded in. That one looked pretty bad. My parents were watching it with us and were totally offended (their first MMA fight).