Video games and online games may seem innocent, but these games can lead to addiction and online dangers. Many online games have the ability to play and chat with others. These communications are often unfiltered and pose a risk to children. Whether it is online or not, parents should be aware of the content their child is receiving through the game.
Children love games. It is good for children to play and have age-appropriate games to play. Consider playing games or reviewing videos/trailers of games before letting your child play or buy a game. Research the gaming platform that will best fit the needs of your family. Many popular gaming consoles offer parental controls that allow you to limit who your child can contact, what types of games they can purchase/download, and how much time they can spend playing each day. It is best to have them play on devices or gaming consoles in a common home at home.
It is important to remember that what people see in the media, they often presume to be true. This is especially true of children. If what they are seeing promotes violence, sexual content, or anti-social behavior, that may influence your child. This can be content they are viewing themselves or watching you consume (ex/ playing video games). See Youcat 460 or CCC 2496 and 2512 for more details.
If you haven’t already, place limits on when, where, and how long they play video games; have a conversation with your child about why you want to put these boundaries in place. Achieving a goal in a game can be very addictive. Five more minutes can easily turn into an hour. Teach your child to set time limits on their game play and walk away when those limits are met; research apps which allow you to set these boundaries. Encourage taking time away from screens as the whole family. If your child is chatting with people online while playing video games, review the resources under Internet Safety. Lastly, don’t be afraid to take the games away and start fresh after a few weeks.
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Learn more about Internet Safety
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