Ian Wright shares the benefits of getting involved in children’s gaming to help them play responsibly
I played videogames with my kids, and I still play them now with my grandkids. I find it a great way to connect with them and have fun. But I know this can be alien for some parents.
Gaming can be great for your kids, though. Like football, it can keep them connected with friends, teach them about cooperation and the importance of practice. It can show them how to focus and build their confidence.
But if you’re wondering about what your kids are doing while they’re playing video games and how much time they’re spending, then there’s help out there.
If you take the time to get involved, video games can be enjoyed safely and responsibly by the whole family.
That means talking to your kids, finding out what games they like and if they’re age appropriate. Find out who they like to play with and how often they do it. Discuss how often they should be playing and for how long.
But to get properly involved, I’d say you get a lot from playing with your kids. It has given me a proper understanding of why they enjoy playing so much and makes talking about it much easier.
You’ll know how they’re spending their time and it’ll help you to help them play safely and responsibly.
As a parent and grandparent I get that you don’t always have the time for this, so setting some reasonable limits for when they play alone is also a good idea.
According to Internet Matters, just over one third of parents have set controls on their kids’ gaming systems. That’s low.
Many parents think that setting up controls is complicated. But every platform – console or otherwise – will have a step-by-step guide and most who’ve set up controls on their console say it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Knowing what you have control over helps put your mind at ease. It’s also why a lot of parents keep the games system in a family room, not in the kids’ bedroom, so they can keep track of what’s going on.
It may not always seem like it, but our kids and grandkids love it when we take an interest.
So, get involved and make playing together and talking with your kids about what they’re up to normal, both online and offline, so you can feel confident that they’re gaming safely and responsibly.