A lot of people have plenty of stereotypes in their minds when they think about video games. They imagine the lonely nerd, shut away in their basement, hiding from the world while staring at a screen. And sure, there are probably people like that in the world today, and there really isn’t anything wrong with that, but gaming is far more popular than ever before. Pretty much everyone is gaming in some way these days, whether it’s on their computer, a console, or their phones.
A lot of parents can worry about their kid’s gaming too much, but there’s one thing that you can do that allows you to make sure that their relationship with video games is a healthy one: play with them. With that in mind, here are some ways to make gaming into a family affair.
Engage with the games that they enjoy
A lot of the times, the thing that can make a lot of parents feel anxious about their kids playing video games is the fact that they often end up in a position where the things that their kids are doing in those games seem very foreign and alien to them. To combat this, the best thing you can do is to try and engage with them. Talk to them about the games they like. Ask what it is that makes them wants to step into Final Fantasy 15 or Fortnite, or any other popular game out there. You may not find that you like the games, but you’ll definitely gain a better understanding of them.
Find games that are fun for everyone
Of course, some games are going to be better for the whole family than others. Ultra-violent, single-player shooters aren’t going to be a good idea for a family game night, but luckily there are plenty of games out there that everyone can get involved with. Games like Mario Kart are purposefully designed for everyone to be able to play together and have fun as a family. Make it part of your family time, and you’ll end up having tons of fun!
Don’t use games as a babysitter
The only point where games become a serious problem for a lot of kids is when parents start to use them as a babysitter. Instead of engaging with their child’s hobby, a lot of parents just dump them in front of the TV so that they can get on with chores, cooking, or anything else. Sure, you need to be able to get on with those things, just be careful that you’re not using games as a babysitter to keep your kids occupied at all times. Games should be treated like any other hobby. All things in moderation.
You might not find gaming to be the most enjoyable hobby in the world, but if it’s something that your kids really love them, it’s always worth at least trying to engage with it. Even if you never learn to like games, you’re going to gain a much better understanding of your child and their hobby.
Photo Credit: Chris Liverani