A Family Day gaming guide
(NC) Some people think of video games as being unhealthy or unsafe for kids, but with a few smart strategies and ground rules, they can be a creative outlet for youth, provide stress relief, improve critical thinking skills, encourage self-esteem and help develop socialization skills.
Gaming can also be a great way to create treasured memories on a long weekend like Family Day. Here are some tips to help you bond with the kids – and keep them safe when you’re not around to monitor their activities.
Before getting your kids a new game, ask them a few questions, including what it’s about, where they heard of it, who they know who is playing it and what they should do if they come across something inappropriate in the game. You could even try playing the game with them – it will open up the opportunity for more detailed and ongoing conversations with them.
Also look up the official audience rating for any game your kid wants to play. You can read online reviews and check out online videos of people playing the game to see what it’s like.
When it comes to multiplayer or online games, teach players how to report any cyberbullying or inappropriate behaviour, consider disabling chat for younger children and review the settings regularly. Keeping the gaming console in a common family room and connecting the sound to a shared speaker are also great ways to keep an eye on their gameplay. As your kids get into video games, have regular chats about what they’re playing, and ask them what they like and don’t like about the games.
Time it out
Screen time is a big concern for many parents, especially as excessive amounts may cause eye strain and affect mood, behaviour, physical fitness and social skills. While recommendations on exact amounts vary, moderation is always a good choice, so set household rules to make sure your family understands the limits.
When it comes to video games, experts from Telus Wise, a free digital literacy education program, suggest encouraging your kids to take breaks when they’ve accomplished something in gameplay. That boost to self-esteem can make them want to keep playing, but it’s also a way to pause on a high note so they leave the game feeling good.
Living in a digital age brings lots of challenges for parents, but there are also plenty of tools to help. Find more free tips and resources at telus.com/wise.
Media Attachments Related Posts
All News Canada content is provided free of charge. Any source/sponsor of the information must also be identified as presented. For articles, credit of usage must be attributed to News Canada with "(NC)" at the beginning of an article or "www.newscanada.com" or "– News Canada" at the end. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada content constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.
Disclaimer: Comments and opinions in News Canada content are those of their respective contributors only. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of News Canada Inc., its management or employees. News Canada Inc. is not responsible, and disclaims any and all liability, for the content of comments provided by contributors.