7 Tips on How to Raise a Gamer Kid

Tips from a real mom who spent the last 18 years raising her own gamer son.

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.

Featured Contributor

Mom to a gamer (now 18), and I grew up myself in the 80s with video games. I rocked Pac-Man! Still love gaming as a way to unwind and relax. Game on PC, Xbox, Smartphones, Tablets, and yes, even classic full size arcade games sometimes!

Published Jul. 22nd 2013
  • sabina_9541
    have a lan party at home
  • Tankerbawlz
    Contributor
    Amazing article, I'm glad someone had the know how to come out and write an article on this. So many kids now a days grow up with games in the wrong way and I think these are tips that every parent should know. Being a parent myself, I know that when my son gets older he will see me playing and want to play stuff with me, and I will play games with him, but not something that he isn't going to be ready to play and I will teach him about the gaming community. How to be respectful and a good sport.
  • RobynsWorld
    Featured Contributor
    Awesome! It is always nice to hear of other parents doing this!
  • Suzanna Keith
    Robyn,
    Great post and analysis on how to manage gaming with your children. Thanks for letting us learn from your experience
    Suzanna
    @skconcepts
    techandtravelmom.com
  • RobynsWorld
    Featured Contributor
    Thanks Suzanna!
  • TheAngelForever
    Great advice for all parents of kids. As my son is getting older I suspect his gaming interests are going to drastically change along with his peers. Right now we game together and we also set rules for reading/writing time in exchange for gaming.
  • RobynsWorld
    Featured Contributor
    Yes. your oldest is going to go thru a big change soon on the type of games he wants to play I'm sure. Establishing guidelines now makes it easier, somewhat, to enforce them later.
  • Gina Ruiz
    Really great points and/or advice! I raised my kids during the newborn days of Sega and Nintendo and learned to play with them so that I could not only monitor, but guide through and hey, it was quality time for a single, working mom. My teenaged sons and daughter often wouldn't talk to me, but he sure loved teaching me a new game or having me help him kill monsters. We still share a strong bond and still game when we see each other.

    Thanks Robyn for the great post!
  • RobynsWorld
    Featured Contributor
    Yep, I grew up playing board games and card games with my parents and loved it. My dad actually was a pinball fanatic too and so he was happy to take us to arcades. They played video games with us too - Frogger was a favorite of Dad's.
  • Gina Ruiz
    I played pinball every day after school at Taco King. LOL It was the 70's and that's what we did. Headed over to the taco place, ate cheap burritos and played pinball or watched.

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