One fine day, a boy was watching a YouTube video and his mom peeped. A dance competition among the family members caught her eyes. It looked so fun and such a great way to connect and bond among the family members that she asked her son what program that was and eventually requested him to play the game in order to achieve the different dance steps.
What?!? A mom asking her son to play games?
I know you feel like throwing eggs and start judging how ignorant this mom is that mom is ME. Guess what game was that? It was Fortnite. Want to throw eggs at me, right? Well, before you do that. Let me tell you something.
I understand that many parents hate video games. The first thing that comes to your mind is of no learning values and there are many news about how those games can have negative effects on the children.
Parents fear that the children will get addicted and dropped everything else that they are supposed to do. Parents fear that they will have a problem managing their child.
I am a parent and I was a gamer too. I understand how addictive video gaming is and what kind of influence it may have on a person, which is why I allow my child to play. Many parents look at gaming as a bad influence but there is a good side of it as well and I’m making use of that good side to parent my gaming child.
I have already listed out the bad sides and I don’t think I need to list out more because I bet you can list out more than I do. I am going to show you the good side of it. You may think, “Hang on! Are you sure there are any good sides of it?” Well now, listen to me here before you start judging.
Do you ever play games?
If you do, then why are you stopping your child from playing it?
Do you know that games are not just plain playing?
They do need to find out strategies to get to next level. It requires them to do problem solving (critical thinking) and build their confidence and determination to reach to the next level or reach their goals.
On top of that it improves their motor-skills, creativity and is a form of stress-relief for them too.
Yes, some gaming scene can be rather violent and parents worried this can be detrimental to their development. But if you don’t expose them what violence is about, how would they know what it is.
Video gaming requires loads of parenting guidance to be frank. It requires a balancing work between the parent and the child.
How do I Manage the Balance ?
We have house rules set:
- We only to play during weekends and there is always time limit set for each game. Usually 1 hour per game. Extra time will be given if their conduct is good.
- They have to be responsible for their own time-table. During or near exam periods, they know that they have to cut down their game time and focus on their revision first.
- They know that whatever applies to the game is just for the game and not in real life. What I mean here is, the violence they see in the game, the vulgar language that they hear in the game is only for the game. They do not apply this in real life.
- Before any game, they need to make sure they have finished what they are supposed to do. E.g. Household chores, homework, revision, etc.
House rules should not be overlooked and is important when you allowing your child to do something and you need a limit to it. By the way, our weekends are not all spent on staying home and video gaming. We do head outdoors very often for nature walking or sports. We have loads of playdates and family gatherings as well where everyone will interact and play together not gather to sit at your own space and started looking at your own device. I know these happens to many people.
Balance is really the key and parenting guidance is important. Both my husband and I do discuss about the games together with our children and we play together with them as well.
All parents want the best of their children, so get alongside with them so that they feel that we are part of their world as well and they feel more welcomed then feeling that parents are always against them. This way, they are more open to you and you get to know them way much better than worrying too much about the “what-ifs” and struggling with the power of parenting.