Video games are here to stay, as more than 90% of children aged two and above enjoy playing them. You may have misgivings about gaming, but you can’t deny the positive effects they have on children – improved concentration, coordination, and cognitive abilities, to mention a few. The issue for most parents has to do with finding a good balance between supporting their kids’ gaming passion and ensuring that they don’t overindulge. If your little one loves to play video games, the following tips can help you guide their passion in the right direction.
1. Know when gaming is a problem
Despite the many benefits gaming has for kids, it can get very addictive quickly, which is where the negative impacts emerge – social isolation, poor time management, and decreased academic performance. As a parent, you need to know when your child’s gaming passion starts becoming a problem and what you can do. When you start noticing the above-mentioned negative impacts, you may want to consider setting limits. For example, consider creating a playing schedule for your kids if their gaming habits start taking priority over their schoolwork and responsibilities at home. You can enforce gaming limits like no playing until homework is done.
2. Create a gaming budget
Playing video games comes with some financial responsibility, especially if you have a kid who always wants the best and latest games on the market. You must have a budget to control your spending and manage your child’s expectations regarding what games you can afford. In 2022, American families spent an average of $431 on video games, including consoles and accessories. So you can budget something within that spending range each year if you have a gaming child. You can also consider buying used video games instead of new ones if your budget is limited. Just find a used video game store near you or online and check out the games they have in stock.
3. Find time to play some games with them
One of the easiest ways to be a good parent to a gaming child is to play some games with them. Understandably, you’re too busy with work and other responsibilities, or you find modern video games a bit too complicated and intimidating. But these excuses are not strong enough if you’re dedicated to spending time playing games with your kids. If time is an issue, try setting at least an hour or 30 minutes aside every week dedicated to parent-child gaming time. Really, you can spare 30 minutes each week, regardless of how busy you are.
4. Be open-minded
Games and sports are supposed to facilitate mental and physical development in kids. But if your child prefers video games and esports, be open-minded about their passion and inform yourself of what it’s all about. You can even help your little ones find ways to develop themselves through their preferred gaming type. Today, gaming has a lot more to it than merely spending countless hours behind screens. This passion is opening doors for kids to interact socially with others and participate in global competitions. You can help your child create a meaningful life experience from their gaming passion if you learn to be open-minded about gaming.