Ok, it isnt such a far-fetched idea really, but given the day and age we live in, when it comes to video games and kids, its just a matter of time (unless you live in Outer Mongolia – but then again, even there they’ve probably got some bootleg gameboy from the mainland).
Not that I’ve decided to give in and allow N to have one just yet- I think its better to get all the facts and get oneself ready to make the best out of a situation.
So here are some tips I found:
1. Find the “good” games and stay away from the “bad”
Find games that people can play together (team building and sportsmanship) like sports and action games. Make it more social, as opposed to a “mind-numbing” activity. Steer clear of violent titles, do your research and check out online reviews first.
2. Get “Active” Games
If like me, you’re concerned about the health aspect, then get some games which will get the kids (and maybe even yourself) out of the sofa and moving! These usually come with a dance pad, which younger kids will enjoy. Karaoke games are fun too, like Singstar, which can get the whole family spending some fun quality time together.
3. Be Involved
As with most things in your child’s life, take an active involvement. Try and spend some time together playing and discover why your child loves it. In my case though, it will be my husband playing the sports and action things – I’ll just stick to the karaoke.
The same pro-video game parent who inspired these tips had this to say (he does have a point).
Don’t believe all the popular media about violence in video games. While there have been a great deal of sensationalist news claims over the years, little legitimate supporting research has been presented that makes a strong link between games and violence. In 2001, the Surgeon General of the United States released a report that concluded, “[t]aken together, findings suggest that media violence has a relatively small impact on violence.” Besides, the debate becomes mute if you pay attention to the content of the games your child is playing.
It’s easy to want to say no when your kid asks for a video game system for Christmas or for a birthday; after all, we’ve all seen various news reports about the dangers of video games. But next time your child makes such a request, don’t be so quick with that knee-jerk reaction. Two thirds of parents with children under the age of 18 say that they feel video games are a positive element of their child’s life. You don’t have to feel guilty next time someone asks you, “You let your kids play video games?” Just look surprised and say, “We play video games together. Why? Don’t you?”
You might be surprised at how nice a ring that line has.