Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Video Games and Children

You may have a child who is constantly on their phone, watching TV, or playing video games. This may be concerning or frustrating as a parent to get your child unhooked from the media. Are there benefits from playing video games? What are the consequences? What can you do as a parent to help regulate video game use? 

It's up to you as the parent to decide what is right for your child. Just remember that there needs to be a healthy balance between anything you do. If you do let your child play video games try suggesting games that are educational or non-violent. Most importantly, educate and discuss with your child what they are seeing when they play video games. Help your child recognize gender or racial stereotypes that are portrayed in video games, or help them understand that there are consequences to every violent act. This will help change the way your child perceives messages from video games or other forms of media.


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Benefits of Playing Video Games
  • Learn problem-solving skills
  • Develop fine motor skills and coordination
  • Develop spatial navigation, reasoning, memory, and perception
  • Encourages cooperation while playing with online friends

Negative Effects of Video Games
  • Less face to face interaction with friends and family
  • Poorer sleep quality
  • Less time spent reading, exercising, or doing other active activities
  • Increase health risks, such as obesity or addiction
  • Depression, anxiety, and aggressive behavior

What Parents Can Do
  • Check the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings to select age and content appropriate games
  • Avoid video games for preschool-aged children
  • Play video games with your children to share the experience and discuss the content of the game
  • Set clear rules about what type of games your child can play and the amount of time they have
  •  Monitor online interactions and warn children about potential dangers of internet contacts while playing games online
  • Play video games in public areas of the home (avoid bedrooms where children can play alone)
  • Remember that you are a role model for your children. Limit the amount of time you spend with video games and be aware of the type of video games you play
  • Set screen time limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you allow children no more than 2 hours of screen time
  • Ensure video games are only played after homework and chores are done
  • Encourage participation in other wholesome, physical activities

Know these video game ratings!

esrb ratings symbol for ec games     esrb ratings symbol for E-rated games     esrb ratings symbol for e10 games     esrb ratings symbol for T-rated games     esrb ratings symbol for m-rated games     esrb ratings symbol for AO-rated games



For more information:
Video Games and Children: Playing with Violence
Video Game Play May Provide Learning



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