Video games are a tricky issue for parents and it’s hard to know how you should approach them. There are a lot of concerns around video games, especially when it comes to the violent content of some games and the amount of time that kids spend playing them.
But does that mean you should ban them completely or is that going too far? Obviously, it is a problem if your child is playing video games for hours on end and never doing anything else, and they shouldn’t be exposed to violent content, but video games can actually be beneficial in small doses. These are some of the benefits of video games for your child.
Getting kids interested in education is a challenge sometimes, especially when it comes to the subjects that they consider boring. But more teachers are starting to use games and the concepts that you find in video games to improve education and engage kids. If you can turn a boring subject like maths into a fun game, kids are far more likely to be invested in it. It doesn’t feel like learning to them and they are not just being talked at by a teacher or working through a worksheet. A more interactive game experience helps them to retain more of the information than they would if they were in a normal lesson.
Video games at home can help with your child’s development too. Studies show that children who play video games often get a boost to their reading skills, especially those with dyslexia. When playing games, they have to read instructions to learn how to play, so even if they are not interested in books, they will still get reading practice. They may also be more inclined to go online and read articles about their favourite game. Video games are not a substitute for books, but they can help with your child’s reading ability.
Fast paced games are great for improving your child’s coordination, especially when they are younger. If they are playing free car games, for example, they will have to make split second decisions to control the car. Games can be a good way for kids that are not interested in sports to improve their coordination skills.
A lot of video games are very puzzle based, which is so good for developing problem solving skills. Even in games that don’t have that many puzzles, your child is still given a task that they have to solve in some way, and finding a way to beat any game helps to develop problem solving skills.
We tend to think of video games as an unsociable thing and parents worry about their kids playing games all day instead of interacting with other kids. But that’s a big misunderstanding on the part of parents because video games are actually very social. Chances are, your child is playing online games with their friends a lot of the time. It’s not a form of socialising that we recognise, but video games are a very social thing. As well as playing together, video games give kids a talking point so it helps them to make friends in real life as well.
Video games can be damaging if your child is playing them too often, but as long as you regulate their screen time, playing games could actually help their development a lot.