As a parent, you might have noticed that your kid has picked up a gaming hobby, or perhaps they’ve had one since they’ve been able to pick up a smartphone or a tablet. Gaming can be an excellent way to play socially with friends, even from afar, to explore their imagination, and has real benefits for their mental development. However, it’s also a hobby that, when not moderated properly, can be rife with issues. Here, we’re going to look at some of them, and how you can navigate any dangers that a gaming hobby might pose when out of control.
Control how much the game
One thing about gaming is that it offers near-instant gratification. As soon as you boot up a game, you’re engaged and almost always having a good time. As such, it’s very easy for hours to disappear in the blink of an eye while you’re playing. Most gaming devices offer some sort of parental controls that allow you to set how long your child can play. Get to know the controls on your device of choice, be it a smartphone, tablet, Nintendo Switch, or otherwise. Gaming can be good in moderation, but moderation is the key.
Make sure they’re playing the right type of games
Aside from thinking about how much time they spend gaming, you also need to keep a close eye on the types of games that they are playing. This is especially true if they’re getting old enough to be able to download games on their own. You should take the time to check out the games on their device to make sure that they are age-appropriate, as otherwise, it’s easy to find even free games that have violence, nudity, and other themes that aren’t suitable for their age. It’s also easy to help find alternatives like this Suika game, which is as simple as combining different fruits to help them grow bigger and aim for a high score. There are always age-appropriate options out there.
Be careful with your financial details
Buying a game is often done online nowadays. While you can still go to the store to pick up a game, it’s just as likely that you will do it through an online storefront. However, if you do, you have to be careful to make sure that the device that you’re using isn’t going to save your financial details. You should also make sure that your kids don’t have access to things like your bank cards as young kids can unknowingly end up using them simply because they know they will give them access to the games that they want. This has resulted in parents not being aware that their children are buying games and expensive in-app purchases. Those expenses can really build up, too.
Know who they are playing with
Nowadays, a lot of the most popular games are played online, such as Roblox and Minecraft. Even if your child is old enough to make a lot of their own choices, even into their teens, you should be mindful of who they are playing with online. It can be a great way to play with friends from school and other kids their age, but it can easily be used to play with adults online, some of which might not have good intentions. You should make sure that you are always familiar with who your kids are playing with, and limit their ability to go online to play with strangers with parental controls.
Make sure they’re involved in non-gaming activities
Gaming can be genuinely addictive. One of the ways to prevent that from happening is to limit game time, but you can also help your child avoid addiction by helping them more easily get into non-gaming activities, as well. Showing an interest in sports they can get involved with, encouraging them to go out with friends by acting as their chaperone to things like the cinema, and even offering tangible rewards for spending time doing things other than gaming, such as chores and homework, can help you make sure that gaming is part of a full and balanced life, not the main part of it. Of course, there might be some pushback initially, so it’s better to do this early.
With the tips above, hopefully, you’ll be able to help your kid game responsibly and have some fun while still being able to live a balanced and active lifestyle. It is possible to fit gaming in healthily among all of the other wonders the world has to offer, after all.