Like any other parent, you must have mixed feelings about kids’ gaming activities. Video games and Apps come with various benefits to the growth of kids. They open up new worlds to children, increasing creativity and imagination.
Aside from endless entertainment, online gaming also presents dangers that we cannot ignore. You don’t know the content your child is accessing or, even worse, who they are talking to. The dangers of online gaming activity include:
- Privacy problems
- Online predators
- Hidden fees
- Exposure of personal information
- Exposure to violent or inappropriate content
So, how can you protect your kids on the internet without hovering over them every minute? Read on to learn how to monitor your kids’ gaming activities and mitigate those risks.
Keeping an Eye on Your Kids’ Gaming Activities
Parents look at their youngsters spending time on their smart devices and wonder: what are they doing? As a parent, there are various things that you can do to avoid unhealthy gaming habits.
Here is how:
Find a Healthy Medium
Parents should have reasonable control over their kids’ gaming activities with all these risks in mind. Find a healthy medium that allows you to enforce regulations and make proactive choices. You can use a media plan tool to layout your little one’s media diet. This ensures that the media doesn’t interfere with sleep, homework, exercise, or eating habits.
Activate Parental Controls
Most parents are concerned about screen time, violence, and in-App purchases. Fortunately, modern game consoles provide an easy way to control these issues.
The robust parental controls block device location, internet access, transactions, and inappropriate content. Is the game asking for access to the device camera or microphone? You can also discreetly set time limits, approved friends lists, and privacy settings without limiting your child’s creativity.
Parental controls are protected with a password or pin. Keep this information a secret to prevent your children from changing the controls you have in place. Here is a step-by-step guide to set parental control in your devices.
Check the Ratings
Understanding ratings are effective in keeping your children safe online. Most Apps and video games in the market are rated by Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). These rankings and ratings guide parents about age suitability. ESRB rating system involves:
Rating categories show age appropriateness, including E(Everyone), E10+( Everyone 10 years and above), T(Teen), M(Mature), and AO (Adult Only).
Content descriptors- indicate content that may concern, such as violence, gambling, language, controlled substances, etc.
Interactive elements show information found in games and Apps, such as unrestricted internet access and sharing personal information or location.
Transparency is the key to building healthy gaming habits. Encourage your youngsters to talk about what they are doing and who they are interacting with online. Use the WWW method to start a conversation.
Ask your child about their favorite games and carry out a little research on the storylines and characters. It makes the conversation comfortable and also scores you the cool parent card. You can also familiarize yourself with gaming language to understand what is said during the game.
Regardless of whether you have activated parental control, teaching your children the importance of keeping personal information private is crucial. Many games allow user interaction where players can talk to one another. Your kids should know never to share information online, just like they wouldn’t in the real world. Such information includes home addresses, passwords, phone numbers, financial data, schedules, and offline meeting places.
Children should know to be respectful and kind when interacting with others online. Convince your kids to talk about any red flags and bullying they find on the internet.
So, What Is the Best Way to Ensure Your Kids’ Safety in Gaming Activities?
No one wants to be a helicopter parent, lingering above your kids every minute of the day. But with today’s online gaming landscape, it is difficult to relax. Using the right tools like parental control can help monitor your kids’ gaming activities while providing the illusion of independence. But they can not block everything. Teach your kids healthy gaming habits to keep them safe, protect your wallet and privacy. You can also play with them for accurate understanding, open communication, and bonding.