As a parent, don’t discount the power and useful resource that video games are for children. The idea that video games can positively influence and teach children valuable life lessons is legitimate. Nervous or hypercritical parents are quick to blame video games for any range of emotional disorders or anti-social behaviors, which over the years has given video games a bad rap.

The truth of the matter is that video games can favorably or unfavorably influence any given person based on their understanding of how to balance and regulate usage. As a parent, avoid policing your children, rather, take the opportunity to teach good behavior and discipline when you can.

The first step in teaching children how to appropriately indulge in video games is to partner with them and thoroughly research the games they want to play. Carefully examine the type of games, the genre of content, and available industry ratings. In the event, your child questions your decision about whether a game is appropriate or not, take the opportunity to discuss the influence and danger of violent and dark-themed video games. Seize the opportunity to teach your children about the residual effects inappropriate video games can have on their developing minds.

As their partner and primary teacher, consciously regulate the devices they use and the time they spend playing video games. Understanding the games your children play and for how long, will help you empathize with them when the time comes to shut the game off or quit at the end of a level or stage. This is especially helpful if you feel your children struggle with prioritizing their time.

A symbiotic relationship between children and video games begins with a shared understanding and level of established trust. Teach your children that video games can be an interactive tool for actual connection, instead of an escape from reality. Joining with your children and showing interest in the things they value or enjoy in life is an important step in creating inter-generational bonds and mutual ground. Becoming an active “co-learner” rather than an “executive enforcer” will increase your children’s ability to use video games as a vehicle to understand the world around them, rather than escape it.

Video games truly represent what it means to flirt with a double-edged sword. Decide to reframe your perspective and realign your efforts when it comes to being an active co-learner with your children. Remember that, if properly managed, virtual play and video games can teach important life lessons while simultaneously allowing an opportunity for parent-child growth and development.

If you have questions or wish to seek more information regarding early childhood education, visit Heritage Learning Center in McKinney, TX or get in touch by calling (972)-782-4464 today.

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