How To Protect Tweens & Teen Exposed Through Gaming Online

Gaming online is on the rise especially with Twitch where kids are earning income just from playing video games. Video games give a parent that much needed quiet time at the end of they day but is it hurting or helping? Also what are your kids being exposed to playing those games? Keep reading to find out.

Before Buying The Video Game, Establish Rules

Before the game even hits their hands, agree on some ground rules. A few examples are: only allowing gameplay after chores and homework is done or keeping game consoles out of their bedrooms. It might even be a good idea to write down the rules and have you and your child sign it. If you allow them to play without any restrictions, kids will try to get away with whatever they can. They get transfixed and lose hours and could result in sleep deprivation.

Monitor and Research Every Game They Own

Regardless of whether you buy it or they buy it with their own money, keep yourself educated on what those games are. There are also game age restrictions and maturity levels on all video games:

M – Mature 17+

AO – Adults Only 17+

E – Everyone 10+

T- Teen 13+

RP – Rating Pending

Playing Video Games Should Be Considered A Privilege

Video games should be considered a fun activity that happens after the not so fun activates. Homework, chores, dinner, shower, getting ready for the next day should all be finished before the video game controller gets into their hands. This will teach your child delayed gratification. Kids are so used to immediate gratification with the use of their cell phones. Delaying the game playing will teach your child that all the important steps must be completed before.

Video Games and the Brain

This is probably the most alarming thing that happens when your child plays video games. The amount of negative triggers that happens can be eye opening. The constant stimulation that comes from the screen has some of the most negative effects on your kids’ brains. They become overly invested, overly excited, and overly alert. All their energy and focus is going into their finger tips and the rest of the world is turned off.

Family Interaction Diminishes

When your kids are addicted to their video games, interacting with their family can be slim to none. They would rather spend their time alone with their gaming consoles. You might also run into your kids resenting you if you try to take the game away. Arguing with your child about how much time is spent playing can become a daily battle.

Check Parental Controls on Game Consoles

On all gaming consoles there are settings that allow parents to control almost everything. Certain devices even allow you to restrict internet access and certain games depending on their rating. Below are the following ways to access parental controls depending on the device:

Nintendo Switch – During the first set up, parental controls will be prompted. If the console is already set up, press the “Home” button, hit “Settings” and then “Parental Controls.”

PlayStation 4 – While on the Home Screen, scroll up to the Functions, scroll right to “Settings” then hit the “X” to select. There you will find “Parental Controls/Family Management.” Manage the entire use of your PlayStation by choosing “PS4 System Restrictions.” Here, you can set restrictions on all users on the system which can be bypassed using a system restriction passcode. There is also an option to manage the different members of your family. You are able to customize the profiles so you can manage their online experience, schedule play time, and more.

Xbox One – Manage parental controls by selecting “Settings” and then choosing “Privacy and online safety.”

For more information on managing Parental Controls on all gaming consoles, click here. 

Video Games Can Result In Violent Behavior

According to the National Center for Health Research video games studies have shown that playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and feelings in both the short-term and long-term. But also understand that video games are only one violent factor that your kids are exposed to. There is also no clear research done that video games correlate to violence in children under 10 and minorities.

 What are your comments and concerns about video games and your children?
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