Playing video games is an excellent way for children to have some downtime and escapism from everyday life. There’s no running away from the fact that technology is advancing quickly and children will grow up with an array of different choices when it comes to playing video games.
Although video games can be fun for the whole family, it’s also vital that parents make sure their kids know how to use video games safely. Some games are inappropriate for children to play and they need to know the rules while playing games that are suitable. Take a look at these tips for keeping your kids safe while they’re playing.
Age Appropriate Games
All games come with an age rating and it’s important to pay attention to these ratings when buying games for kids. If you’re unsure of the rating on the video game, screen the game yourself before allowing your kids to play on it. Every parent will have different opinions on what’s appropriate and what’s not so go with your gut instincts.
It’s essential to sit down with your children and talk to them about online safety. You may need to have this discussion more than once with your child. If your child is using a game that connects to other players, talk about the information that can and cannot be shared. This will help to keep them safe from cyberbullying and online predators.
It’s normal for kids to want to start searching for game cheats or tips on how to play the game. However, if they start doing this without your consent, they could come across content that’s inappropriate for them. Using Safe Search Kids is an ideal option that allows them to search for answers from safe websites.
Many games that older children can play contain scenes of violence. Although you may not be able to stop your child from wanting to play violent games, you can limit the amount of time spent on violent games. Many studies have found that violent video games can have an affect on how people view the world around them.
If you’re worried about your child playing violent games, try and offer a selection of relaxing games too. Relaxing games can help to switch the players mindset and perspective.
Give a Good Example
No matter how old kids get, they’re always looking at parents to set an example. If you want your kids to stay safe while playing video games, it can help if you show them how to do it. Spend time playing together and show them safe solutions when problems occur. Instead of doing everything for them, show them exactly what to do themselves so they can take that knowledge with them when they play alone.
Even if you trust your children to do the right thing, there will always be times where accidents can lead to online danger. You can set up parental controls to ensure you have a say in what your child is seeing. For instance, some video games offer additional purchases to enhance the game and these purchases can be costly. You can set up parental controls to get authorization requests when someone tries to make a purchase.
Turn Off Webcam Access
If your child is using a device with a camera, you may want to limit or turn off webcam and microphone access. This is especially important if your child is playing an online game with strangers. These types of games leave players vulnerable to predators who pretend to be children. If you don’t want anyone seeing your child or talking to your child via the game, the webcam and microphone should be disabled.
Limit Screen Time
Too much screen time is bad for anybody. Children are spending more time on screen than ever before. It can help to set a limit on how much time your child spends playing video games. If your child is coming home from school and spending the remainder of the day playing video games, setting a limit could encourage your child to do other things.
If this doesn’t work for you, you may want to make sure that your child completes important tasks before starting a game. For instance, make sure that all homework and chores are complete before they’re allowed to use devices.
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