How To Manage Your Children’s Gaming Behaviour
Nowadays, almost everywhere you find children you will also find computer games (91% to be exact as most studies indicate). These games are played on computers, game consoles, cell phones, and handheld devices.
Parenting might often feel like having to say no over and over. No, we can’t have cake for breakfast everyday. No, we can’t buy an elephant. Now after they discover video games, there’s a new no to add to the list: no, we can’t sit around playing video games on the sofa all day.
However, remember that video games are brilliant, and can be great for children. They can teach us how to create, how to play, and how to lose. They are gripping, inspiring, scary and hilarious. Sometimes all at the same time. But limits are the key.
We do feel that managing your children gaming is a combination of making informed decisions and finding it out as you go along. Because at the end, you know your child better than anyone else, so trust your instincts when it comes to what’s right for them.
Here you have our 8 Tips on to Manage your Children’s Gaming Behaviour:
#1 Only allow your children to play computer games after they have taken care of other responsibilities. For instance, it is advisable that parents set a rule that video games can only be played after homework has been completed with effort and dedication.
#2 Computer games should be played no more than one or two hours per day in order to prevent computer addiction from happening – especially during the school year.
#3 Computer games shouldn’t be your children’s main activity or entertainment. Check that they spend time outdoors and enjoy other good things like reading books or attending extra school activities (music lessons, basketball, ballet, etc.). But also allow them to play video games, because kids need their break. It’s all about balance.
#4 Your children should see computer games as a privilege, not a right they have. We could call it the “Gaming as Dessert” approach – games are a reward instead of allowance. For instance, if they practice the guitar for half an hour, they earn a half hour on the iPad.
#5 Be aware of the games that enter home. You should always have the final decision on this. Like films, all video games carry age ratings, and it’s really important that you pay attention to these. If you wouldn’t let your child watch an 18-rated film, they shouldn’t be playing an 18-rated game. Moreover, children addicted to computer games very often prefer the more mature games that should have never entered the home in the first place.
#6 Have a fixed spot for portable gaming devices and keep them out of your child’s bedroom. For example, you can keep them in a specific place, a corner shelf or a large cupboard on the kitchen counter – this way it is much easier to limit computer gaming if computers are in open spaces or family rooms. This is probably the most important tip of all to carry out.
#7 Have one computer for homework only and the other one for gaming. In this way, on the work computer, there will be no games installed or any social networking sites like Facebook – they should be blocked- you’ll know that he/she is working and not spending time playing computer games.
#8 One really helpful gadget for dealing with children playing long hours of computer games is the setting called “Parental Control” that is present on all game consoles. This password allow parents to control what their children play and how much time is allotted. On the computers, this setting can be set via software solutions. Make sure you learn how to set these options because they can be very helpful.
Find out the 4 Most Likely Dangers and Risks when Gaming – and don’t forget to read our tips above carefully to prevent these dangers:
#1 Online Predators/Groomers. They are typically older gamers who use videos games to groom a younger person. The purpose of these predators is to work on gaining the younger person’s trust before asking them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. This could cause to face-to-face meetings without telling their parents and lead to sexual exploitation, giving out personal information, webcam chats or inappropriate messages. By talking to your children about these possible risks and managing their privacy settings and time spent online you can avoid it.
#2 Playing for long hours before going to bed. It can clearly lead to fatigue, anger and aggressive behaviour the next morning. As we mentioned in our 8 tips to manage your children’s gaming, it is advised to keep the maximum of 2 hours daily and that they feel gaming is a privilege/compensations and not their automatic routine.
#3 Cyberbullying. On the online world, the victims of cyberbullying often suffer from anxiety, depression and other conditions related. It is primarily because Cyberbullying deteriorates their self-esteem and confidence. Bullies use technology to harass, threaten and embarrass a particular person. Therefore, privacy settings, blocking strangers, and sharing your online information with your children are some of the best ways to prevent this to happen.
#4 Webcam Settings. More than 4,500 webcams at the US were hacked last year. Any hacked device, could be controlled by attackers and could be used to exploit your children. In order to prevent it, make sure to scan your system and ensure that your webcam’s default setting is “off”.