We bet that most parents worry about online gaming, especially if their kids are spending more and more time glued to the computer interacting with strangers. Whether you’re worried about social isolation or the risk of predators, it’s already a good sign that your child has concerned parents. Here’s what all parents need to know about online gaming.
Of course, online gaming holds a natural appeal for kids and teens. Almost all humans seek interaction and like to gather with likeminded people, but children are less able to gather in public spaces than adults, especially without their parents there. While you might meet someone at a book club, coffee shop or bar, children like to hang out at the mall, a local sports club or more recently – online.
Should Parents Worry About Online Gaming?
As a parents, it’s your responsibility to get involved and see what kind of games your kids like playing and to decide whether or not they are appropriate. If your 7-year-old is playing violent shooter games and using the chat feature to communicate with people three times his age, it might be time to redirect him towards other games which are more suitable. Remember that it isn’t just the content of the game itself, but the fact that your child might come across bullying, offensive language or upsetting conversations.
If your kids are playing games that involve chat functions, remember that the same rules apply when gaming as with any online conduct. They shouldn’t give out personal details or anything that could identify themselves to people online, as these people aren’t always who they say they are and could be anyone from a sex offender to an identity thief.
Remember that a lot of modern games on the PC, games consoles and even phones require your children to connect to the internet and download them via an app store, or log on with certain details. Many of these games (even innocent apps on your child’s cellphone) let users purchase rewards or upgrades – make sure to disable this function as it is not unheard of for kids to accidentally run up very large bills without realising!