Choose the Right Video Game for your Children
Edited by Debbie, Timbuktu, Nate Pepperell, Adrian Penaflor and 8 others
These days, video games are very popular, not only for children, but for adults as well. As parents, we want to do our best to educate ourselves about the games before we buy them, because not all video games are suitable for young children. Did you know research has concluded that what movies, television shows, and video games our children watch and or play can influence them either in a positive or negative way? Yes, it can affect all our emotions and our thinking, good or bad. So as parents, we want to do our best to pick games that are appropriate for our kids. You may ask yourself, What kind of shows do your child enjoy watching? Animals? Sports? You might be able to choose a video game pertaining to his or her interests. Is your child afraid if other members of the family are watching horror movies, or violence? Then common sense tells us not to choose a game that your child would be afraid of, or one that may have a negative effect on them.
To help you decide if a video game is appropriate for your child to play, here are some tips that can be helpful:
- 1Check out the rating on the video game package. The ESRB Organization assigns the ratings that appear on the back of the game case. It also has rating summaries that describe some of the content of the video games.Advertisement
- 2Look for game reviews online to find out more information on a particular game before you purchase it for your child. The ESRB is a guideline, but it is not always perfect. Sometimes, you will find a game rated one way, but you may disagree with that rating. Doing your research on a specific game before purchasing it, will ensure that the game meets your standards.Advertisement
- 3Pick Age Appropriate Video Games. It can prevent your child from viewing violence or sexual graphic scenes.
- 4Teach Your Child What is Acceptable. You can talk to them about morals. Create a dialogue about the characters in the game. Point out immoral behaviour, and point out kindness. Talk to you child about what is suitable, and what is not.
- 5Be Consistent. Concerning what games you buy, and approve your children to play or watch.
- 6Parents work as a team. Even if you are separated or divorced, make decisions on games together. All your hard work will go to waste if when they go to the other parent's place, there are no video game rules.
Undoubtedly, there will be times children will want to play games that their friends are playing, that as a parent you will find inappropriate. Don't be afraid to say "NO". There are plenty of fun games for your child to play.
Determine Content of Video Games Appropriate For Children Through The Following Guides
- 3Role Models
- Choose games that include characters with different backgrounds and cultures.
- Adult characters that play dependable roles.
- Stay away from media portraying characters in gender- or race-stereotyped roles. Kids, starting at 4 years of age, are forming ideas of what it means to be a boy or a girl.
- 5Violence and scary stories
- For 0-4, violence is getting harder to ignore, especially if they are watching cartoons.
- Avoid games where the characters use violence to resolve conflict. If it comes up, talk to them about the fact that there are other means the character could use to solve the problem.
- Avoid scary games that can affect their personality. When they get scared of the video games they are playing, comfort them with a hug to assure them they are safe.
Tips, Tricks and Warnings
- Get your child a video based on his interest - sports, strategy, or fantasy. These games require strategy and problem-solving skills. Others incorporate an educational component in the game.
- Talk to other parents. They can give you advice and suggestions about which are good games.
- Look for the seal of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) on video games. They rate the games appropriate for your child's age.
- Video games cost a lot. Choose a game with a good replay value before purchasing one.
- Visit review sites for parents on the net. If possible, try the game first by borrowing or renting it. Request an in-store demo. Make sure that if you are not satisfied with the content, you can return the game.
- Children with poor self-esteem and social problems sometimes get addicted to video games. These are often intelligent and imaginative children who have only few friends in school.
- Be careful to monitor your child's game playing time, as it can become addictive.
- Use Parental Control Options.
- Show an interest in your child by playing games with them.
- It is best to set a limit on the time when your kids play video games. On regular school weeks, let them play starting Friday afternoon up until Sunday early afternoon. Then let them have time on Sunday afternoon to prepare for their academic needs for Monday. Then, the whole school week, absolutely no video gaming up until Friday afternoon again. Then on exams week, even weekends are off limits to video games. This is their chance to study extensively for the exams during the weekend.
Categories : Parenting
Recent edits by: Nuance, Eng, Derek S