Connecting With Kids: Can Gaming Really Bring a Family Closer Together?

Losing your kids to technology? It's time to start fixing the problem... by playing the games with them!

Children nowadays are so tapped into electronics it's a wonder they even know their parents exist.The family dynamic is dissolving as parents are becoming the gatekeepers of video games. Dramatic, I know. But in all seriousness, kids are more detached and have less in-person social skills than in the past. Younger and younger children have access to iPods, iPads, and more. Even the Nintendo DS is allowing children to form fake relationships through electronic communication. var adunit_index = 4000; if ((adunit_index != 1000 & adunit_index != 1001) || (adunit_index == 1000 && device_category != 'MOBILE') || (adunit_index == 1001 && device_category == 'MOBILE')) { if (active_ad_units_pw[adunit_index] != undefined) { console.log('Dyn Unit Legacy PW', active_ad_units_pw[adunit_index], adunit_index); googletag.cmd.push(function(){ var adunit_index = 4000; if (typeof(pubwise) != 'undefined' & pubwise.enabled === true) { console.log('Dyn PW'); pubwise.que.push(function(){ pubwise.renderAd('div-sjr-4000'); }); } else { console.log('Dyn Direct'); googletag.display('div-sjr-4000'); googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots['div-sjr-4000']]); } //googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots['div-sjr-4000']]); }); } } So how do parents reconnect with their children?By taking away their games? Of course, anyone who has a kid playing on a Kindle or other tablet knows that taking these away will do nothing for a healthy family dynamic. Instead of taking away their kids' games, parents should be giving them games. Now, I'm not saying that young children should be left to their own devices with their devices. Parents should pick out games that they can play with their kids. In 2006, my father went out and bought me Champions: Return to Arms for Christmas. A fantastic RPG that we played together. In fact, we spent years playing it on breaks from school and weekends until it became a tradition. It was something special that we could do together and it made us closer. We had to communicate and watch out for each other in order to achieve a common goal. We weren't competing: we were a team. Parents who want to reconnect with their kids in such an electronically-focused time shouldn't be alienating them.They should be taking part in their interests. Parents, find a game that is age appropriate and that has you working together with your children, rather than competing against them. Instill good values while bonding over something your children would have done without you anyways. Both of my parents (even my mother, who is not a gamer) made an effort through the years to play video games with me and my brother. Sometimes the entire family would be involved. Other times, it would just be a couple of us. By playing the games with us, my family smoothly transitioned into the electronic era. We managed to find a balance between technology and family that left everyone happy. It's time to stop losing the younger generation to the grips of technology! Parents everywhere, step back into your kids' lives by simply taking charge of how they play their games and who they play them with. RandomInternetKid656 shouldn't be your child's best friend, but you should.

Correspondent

Published Jun. 5th 2013
  • gail.vasta
    I am the "Not a gamer" mom, and I can vouch for what my lovely daughter has written. Another key is setting a timer for electronic activity. We do this for computer, social media and tv. We agree ahead of time about the homework or practice that needs to happen first, and the amount of time left. We set the timer and then the timer is the bad guy that says it is time to move to another activity. Sometimes my son "HATES" the oven timer.
  • blacksteelforge
    Being part of a family that is fostering two small children, I would have to say that this is a fantastic idea. That is all.

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