If your child spends any amount of time online, then there’s a good chance a portion of that time is spent playing online games. Like so many other things on the Internet, online games aren’t inherently good or bad, but they can be used for both. Here are a few things to consider when determining whether your child’s online gaming habits are just innocent fun or potentially problematic.
- Not all online games are alike.
If you’re concerned about your kid’s gaming behaviors, the first step is to be aware of which games he’s playing. Research suggests that while violent first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty and Halo can cause kids to become aggressive, other games like Minecraft encourage creativity and teamwork. There are also plenty of educational games available, including those that teach kids to code, a skill that could prove lucrative later in life!
- Moderation is a must.
You’ve heard the adage “everything in moderation.” Well, this is especially true for online gaming. Internet-based games can be incredibly addictive—at any age! Choosing appropriate game titles for your child is important, but setting time limits is also a necessity. Even the most innocent or brain-boosting game can become problematic if it’s played excessively. According to the experts, one to two hours of screen time per day is plenty. Make sure your child’s schedule is filled with other fun and enriching activities like reading, sketching, or playing sports. And remember, if your child likes online games, she’ll probably enjoy a good board game as well. Pull one out routinely for some “real-life” fun.
- Keep watch on casino-type games.
Casino-type games like online Poker, for instance, can pose a potential risk, even if no real money exchanges hands. Research has yet to determine whether playing these kinds of games leads to real gambling later in life.
One of the great advantages of the Internet is its seemingly endless sources of entertainment. While playing a few of the right kinds of games online from time to time is probably harmless, nothing good can come from excessive gaming or games that promote violence or illegal activity.
Qustodio allows parents to set time limits for online play and even block harmful games and apps. How do you monitor what games your child plays and for how long?