When it comes to parents, their kids, and video games, many have different views. Some think that gaming is a waste of time or fear that their children will become addicted. Some happily join their kids and game alongside them. Despite the ambivalent views, there are benefits of being a parent involved with their child’s gaming habits.
Tyesha Litz’s recent Gamercraft piece explains these benefits in greater detail. For example, a mental health benefit of people who game regularly includes the ability to plan, organizing, and flexible thinking, especially when playing games involving problem-solving. For those who have no clue where to start, here are some tips for parents who want to participate in gaming with their child.
n’t Discourage Them From Gaming
Even if you have legitimate concerns about your child playing video games, forbidding them from gaming will not improve the situation. Not only will you be depriving them of something they enjoy, but you will be missing out on the chance to understand a part of their life. Instead, try to keep an open mind and see why exactly your child enjoys playing video games.
Although it wasn’t perfect, my parents did a decent job of supporting my video game habit. My mother, in particular, bought me new games almost every Christmas and birthday because she saw how happy it made me. In fact, the only time she or my dad had a negative opinion about gaming is when it interfered with my schoolwork and grades.
2. Create Fair Time Limits For Gaming
The key to parenting a gamer kid is to balance gaming with other important parts of their lives. To that end, creating reasonable time limits for playing video games can help your child play responsibly and teach them to prioritize their lives. Try setting aside specific hours or certain days for gaming and then go from there.
In elementary school, my mom eventually noticed that I would rather play video games than hone my poor math skills. As a result, she told me that I could only play video games on the weekend. While I disliked her ultimatum at first, eventually, I came to appreciate how this allowed me to focus more on my studies.
3. Encourage Your Kids’ Gaming Tastes
If you buy your kids games or let them buy their own, you might notice how they gravitate towards certain types of video games. If the interest is age appropriate, then feel free to let your kids explore the genre. If you need to, feel free to do some research and look up other games that are similar to the ones they already have.
While I was happy with most of the games I was given by my parents and sometimes my older sibling, I wish I could’ve been supported in my interest in Japanese RPGs. Some of the games I remember most fondly from my childhood were JRPGs, but I played a few of them because I didn’t know how many were out there.
4. Make Gaming Time Family Time
If you don’t already enjoy video games, playing video games with your child can be a fun opportunity. Not only will it let you experience gaming firsthand, but it will also allow your child to show you new things and will enable you to spend time with them. Even if you can’t always play with them, scheduling a family video game night or encouraging your kids to play video games with each other can be rewarding.
Some of my most memorable video gaming moments involve my family members. While my parents didn’t play with me, playing with my siblings and nephews has resulted in tons of entertainment. Sometimes, simply having one of them watch me play was also fun. A fond example is when my nephew and I played the multi-player mode of the PlayStation 2 game Teen Titans, representing the entire game together. When we finally beat the game, victory was very sweet.6