Videogames and your Child (and let’s be honest, you too)

Videogames have steadily become a multi-billion dollar industry, with the average player actually being the age of 33; that’s not to say however that children everywhere aren’t playing, and a lot.

As a parent, you need to make the choice of whether or not this is an okay use of your child’s time. Are they never allowed to play? Only allowed to play at a specific time of the week? Only after homework? And so on. You also need to set the right example if you, or your co-parents, plays as well.

Videogames as a whole aren’t inherently bad. There are plenty of studies that will tell you about cognitive gains, better strategy and problem solving, or even improved dexterity. Where videogames tend to take their negative turn comes from the adult themes involved (violence, over-sexualization of both men and women) and when they are played for too long taking away from essentials like socialization, food, and sleep.

The deprivation method rarely works, but you can make it so your child isn’t able to play videogames in your own home, but you must recognize that other parents won’t share your opinion and likely won’t enforce it either.

What you can do is keep an open dialogue with your child, set and enforce time limits, and ensure that they are participating in a variety of activities. You should also monitor them each time a new game is bought or research games before they’re brought into your home to ensure you are comfortable with your child being exposed to the type of graphics and content they may involve.

When it comes to videogames education is key. The more you know, the less potential harm involved. And don’t forget, if it’s something you both enjoy, you can always bond through it.

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