Frequent Questions and Concerns about Video Games
Why do kids spend so much time playing video games?
If you ever get a chance, ask your child to show you her favorite video game. There are many complex games that challenge kids to problem solve, be creative, enhance eye-hand coordination, and improve language and math skills. Some parents have found themselves getting pulled into video games once they discover how entertaining and engaging they can be.
Are video games safe for kids to play?
It depends on which games your child plays. Be vigilant about checking the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating. You don’t want your child to be playing M-rated games and other games that have sexually explicit or violent material intended for adults. Some of the EC- and E-rated games for young children are educational and fun. As kids become teenagers, don’t assume that you will approve of all the T games. The ESRB rating also gives you information about why a game has a rating that it does.
How do I get my child to not play video games all the time?
Video games, like other games, keep advancing players through new levels, which is why it can be hard for your child to stop. Talk about this aspect of video games. Be clear about how much time you allow your child to play video games and why. Then make sure you talk about how much time your child needs to stop a game. Because video games are complex, kids cannot easily stop and turn off a game when a parent says, “stop.” Kids usually need to get to a point where they can save what they have accomplished in the game. Some parents have found that they need to give a 15-minute warning before they want a child to stop playing a game so that the child knows it’s time to look for a place to save. If your child claims he can’t stop after 15 minutes, you’ll know that your child is pushing the boundaries. Say that the game has to be turned off.