The 7 parenting skills I developed by being a gamer

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A Willingness to Try New Things

As a parent, it can be difficult to get your child to try new things. “It looks gross! I don’t like the way it smells. This place is different!” And so on. Kids can be very picky, especially when it comes to food. Thankfully, my daughter is a miniature vacuum cleaner at the moment and rarely finds something she will not eat. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.) As parents, we want to ensure our child experiences things they might not otherwise. Great things can arise when you leave your comfort zone. Variety is the spice of life after all.

Fellow players also know how important trying new things can be. Some of my favorite games include Spec Ops: The Line, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. All three games are drastically different and stretch across multiple genres. Without being willing to try something different from my usual taste, I would have probably never played these amazing games. How many times have we played a game we thought was strange because our friend or a critic we respect recommended it?

By trying new things, we allow ourselves to be open to a wide variety of experiences and whatever may follow. Sure, you can play the same yearly iterations of Madden and Call of Duty, but you miss out on great games such as Brothers, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Transistor, and Bayonetta.

By being a gamer who embraces variety and is willing to try a wide variety of titles, I know the importance of variety and hope my daughter will grow up appreciating variety as well. Hopefully she will never be a picky eater too! 

Published Jul. 20th 2015
  • Larry Johnson
    Since I was a parent before commercial video games were available, I missed out on this benefit, and used the free range chicken parenting method: feed the kids, be nice to them, and let them wander around. Your points are well taken, though, and if my fortysomething offspring, who are lifetime gamers, ever have children, I'll send them a link to this article.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    The free-range method is an interesting one. I can see some of the pros of trying that method.

    Glad you liked it!
    Thanks for reading!
  • GameSkinny Staff
    I swear, years of planning out optimal questing routes in MMOs/RPGs has made me a pro at planning the most time-efficient ways to get chores and tasks done. Such a useful skill!
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Make them grind for deserts!
  • Landon Sommer
    Teach kids about real life. Put XCOM on Ironman mode and then break the game and throw it away if they lose.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    I think XCOM on Ironman is punishment enough no?
  • IntCel
    You mean.... just like you don't send your Pokemon with low health at a crocodile, you don't do that with your kids either?
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Wait. Is that how you treat Pokemon?
    That explains a lot.....

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