It’s Not That Bad: Encourage Your Child’s Gaming

It’s Not That Bad

Since time immemorial, children have felt their parents just don’t understand their hobbies (DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince anyone?). It used to be, “Get a paper route!” Now, it’s “Go outside and play!”

Video games have annexed the spotlight as the most common form of bonding for children, adolescents, and many young adults. With that territory comes the scrutiny from older generations criticizing their descendants for participating in something seen as lazy or a waste of time—two snap judgments that are easy to make.

Change is inevitable. The bigger and quicker the change, the more people like to resist in an often-futile effort to remain in their comfort zone. Instead, try being uncomfortable for a little bit and become accustomed to change. Expand the comfort zone.

Playing video games is a natural occurrence in today’s world. It’s not that bad, contrary to the perception of outsiders.

Fundamental Skills

Bring forth that open-mindedness that people like to claim they have. Apply it to someone’s love of video games and their aspirations to play them professionally. Playing video games provide an opportunity to teach people of all ages several fundamental skills to succeed in life, such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, dedication, and perseverance.

Don’t write something off based on a preconceived misconception. If anything, having a preconceived notion demands research, exposure, and discussion to either verify or disprove it. A child playing video games is not a substitute for physical activity, such as exercise to keep someone healthy and alert. However, they can go hand-in-hand and even provide parents the opportunity to learn and teach.

The discussion surrounding violent video games has been a controversial subject since the 1990s, gaining momentum in the early 2000s and continuing today. The effects of violent titles on young minds are still largely up for debate, but one thing that parents can do for their kids at a malleable age is at least put the games’ content in perspective. “You know you are never to do any of these things in real life, right? You understand this isn’t real?” Tell them once, tell them 1,000 times.

Teach them, and also learn. It’s not that bad.

Bonding

Even if one can’t compete with their kids, playing games with them is a great opportunity to bond with them—to do something with them that they enjoy, not something they should do just because it’s good for them. Encourage their gaming, and learn how to play with them, even if only a little. Don’t resist change, embrace it, while also expanding their horizons by getting them outside.

Create a sense of commonality with them. It’s not that bad.

Understand

Gaming is a fact of life at this point. Even if video games are banned from someone’s house in an effort to prevent one’s children from playing them, kids are going to find a way. Their friends will be more than happy to let them play at the friend’s house. Esports have become one of the primary ways that people of all ages communicate and refusing to allow a child to participate in that culture, if they wish it, will lead to them feeling alienated from their friends.

Yes, it is a parent’s prerogative to decide what’s best for their kids, but let’s try not to demonize something that can be a fantastic source of sociability. Remember not to “let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.”

Not everything has to be a battle for control. It’s not that bad.

Set the Standard

Even if one is opposed to their children playing video games, after realizing it’s likely an inevitability, use it to one’s advantage. Set the standard. Regulate it, set limits, or require something of the kids before they’re allowed to load up their game(s) for the day.

Make sure their homework is complete (and check it to make sure it’s correct), require them to get a certain amount of physical activity every day (assuming they don’t have P.E. at school). Make them work for their game time, but make sure they get their reward once the reasonable standards are met (or exceeded).

There’s nothing wrong with making the kids work for their entertainment. When they’re older, they’re going to have to do that anyway, because money is a thing. So, start teaching that lesson early, which most parents already do in their own way.

If they have to work for their game time, then it’s true that it’s not that bad.

Everything in Moderation

As with all things, there it’s possible for kids to play too much. So, moderation is the key to getting them outside while also allowing them to improve their gaming skills. The mind needs time to absorb new information, and it’s difficult for it to do that when it’s taxed and constantly taking in more and more. Get them outside, make them do something else for a while.

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