Many parents have concerns about their children playing video games, and rightfully so. Often, moms and dads worry that their kids are spending too much time gaming, or they may fear that violent video game titles could have a negative effect on their kid’s psyche. These are valid concerns, but as you may suspect, it’s the dangers you aren't aware of that can be the most threatening. Did you know that Xbox Live is much more than just a gaming console? In fact, it’s a gaming community that connects more than 48 million members looking for social entertainment. Sounds like fun, right? Your kid thinks so too, but he needs your help to play it safe on this platform. Consider these three tips:
Approve friend requests
Gamers can participate in multiplayer games and even chat with each other on the Xbox Live platform. If you decide to let your child participate in this social aspect of gaming, then be sure that you have the finger on the pulse of who your child is interacting with. Remember, there are plenty of adult gamers out there, and your child may not be able to tell the difference between a peer and a grown-up. The best way to monitor player-to-player communication is to set up parental controls that require your password approval for each friend request. You can do this from the “Family” center on the console settings.
Restrict inappropriate content
Don’t want your child playing mature video games? What parent does? Luckily, you can restrict certain games and videos based on their ratings. Just go to “Settings” and then choose “Family” from the menu to access this feature.
Set time limits
If you have a young gamer at home, then you know how easy it is for kids to get sucked into a video game for hours at a time if you let them. While the game itself may not be bad for your child, spending hours in front of a monitor can have negative physical and psychological effects. Xbox’s Family Timer allows you to set daily and weekly time limits for your child. Once the time is up, the console will shut down until the timer is automatically reset on the next day or week. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to activate the Family Timer on your console.
Gaming can be a fun and safe activity for your child as long as you set the proper boundaries. Do you have other questions about the safety of online gaming? Share them in the comments section.