7 Tips on How to Raise a Gamer Kid
I have raised a gamer son, it isn't hard these days, but there are some things you can do as a parent to make your kids better gamers. Not better as in how to play, but better as a part of the gaming community.
Here are 7 tips based on my years of raising a gamer (who is now 18 years old).
1. Age Appropriate
Kids are introduced to gaming so early now with all of the mobile devices we use. It is critical that you maintain age appropriate games for your kids. That does not mean to strictly follow the age guidelines on a label, but to know your individual child and make decisions based on what is most appropriate for them. Trust me, the kids will have plenty of years to play the M rated games in their lives.
2. Game Together
Gaming with your children lets you be there with them to act as a good role model. You can teach them how to be a good sport, how to work as a team, and how to solve problems. The other reason to game together, especially with interactive games, is that you are there to monitor their interaction with others. In-game chats, message boards, and the like can be rough spots, especially for young gamers.
3. Stay Secure
Kids, of all ages, have a sense that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They will never get hacked, get a worm, etc. Teach them how to be a secure gamer online and protect their accounts and machines.
4. Set Time Limits
Start as soon as possible with time limits on screen time for gaming. Trust me when I say it is so hard to implement limits once they are older - I speak from experience! There really is no need to spend 6 hours a day on gaming (really).
5. Smart Shopping
Gaming costs money. The games, subscriptions, computers, controllers, and so much more, not to mention fan items. Help your child set a budget of what you and/or they will spend monthly on gaming related items.
6. Encourage Skill, Not Cheats
There is no lack of cheats and cracks for gaming. While occasional use is not the end of the world, teaching your gamer to use their skills to progress in a game will teach them valuable lessons they will use throughout their life.
7. Be a Parent
Even though I encourage you to game with your kids, you must always remember you are the parent. That comes before being a friend or being cool. Setting boundaries and limits as a parent is hard work, but your children will be better for it as adults.