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Should Parents Allow Their Kids To Play Video Games?

Posted by Jason on February 14, 2017 at 9:05 PM

Kids under two should not be allowed to play video games, period. After that, it gets a little murkier. There are arguments for and against the impact of video games on developing brains. Each family has to decide what is right for them.


Reasons Kids Should be Allowed to Play Video Games

According to a recent Forbes article, after kids turn two, the debate over whether to allow them to play video games takes on a new dimension. New parents constantly wonder if they are making the right decision, and this one is not easy to crack.


One thing is certain, technology will continue to advance, and we cannot just take our kids out of the loop and isolate them from the real world. It does not work. As soon as they are old enough to go to a friend's house or school, they will have access to video games and all the other good stuff protective parents have withheld from them. The internet also is not going away, so it is better if kids have had enough exposure to make good decisions or ask questions.


We are moving towards a world filled with more windows, not less. Imposing artificial boundaries is not enough. Parents should not set limits and then just sit back and police them. It is much better if the child understands why limits are important so he can control his relationship with his digital life.


Play Video Games With Your Kids

 Another option is to combine game time with family time. According to the Forbes article, there is a lot of research that supports this practice. There are huge benefits unique to playing video games. The child's cognitive, emotional and social development are impacted by both the play and social aspects of family gaming. Apparently, this is beneficial for parents as well.


Middle Ground

Restrictive Mediation is kind of a middle ground between unsupervised, unlimited game time and outright forbidding video gaming in the home. Instructive Mediation describes the process of talking to kids while watching movies or playing a video game together. Playing video games as a family creates opportunities for unity even if you are not talking at the time. It might be boring to sit in the livingroom passively watching your daughter play video games, but it is an opportunity for teachable moments and for some family time.


There are a number of reasons not to let kids play video games in the eyes of most parents. Parents can argue that some games include violence and sexual content not appropriate for young children.

Encouraging social activity and sports to exercise more than just the brain and thumbs. Addiction to video games can compromise a child's health and stunt his social development.


Quora has a great article written from the kids' perspective that acknowledges the need for a well-rounded life. One young game developer encouraged kids to get out and socialize in ways that did not involve gaming.


It seems that parents and at least some kids are worried about the impact of gaming on kids, but the answer is never going to be clear-cut. Children need to be taught to choose limits wisely for themselves so that this transferrable skill will help them make better life decisions in other situations.


Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there is no bottom line. It is important to establish rules so that family and school life are prioritized over gaming. However, there is enough research supporting the benefits of video games to show the positive impacts of gaming on cognitive and social development.


Looking at it from another angle, video games can be seen as a high-tech vehicle for storytelling. If kids read at all past the age of 12 these days, it is a miracle. This at least stretches their imaginations.


One strong reminder is that kids under two are incredibly sensitive to everything that goes on around them. Experts (pretty much all of them) are advising against exposing infants to television or movies because they need all their brainpower and energy to grow and these gadgets disrupt the pathways the brain needs to dedicate to other things.

Categories: Gaming and other topics

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Reply nelpan
7:58 PM on January 30, 2022