“If it is not appropriate for your action, it is not appropriate for you entertainment”
Some areas of risk when it comes to gaming:
- Time wasting
- Cyber bullying
- Contact with strangers
- Potential physical impact
- Affect on behaviour
It’s important for parents to guide children with screen time limits (available on consoles and smartphones) as they develop their own healthy boundaries. However, avoid only setting time limits and instead play games with children and help them find a range of activities to enjoy. See Kids and Technology for more on this.
One thing that I have found effective with gaming is to turn the children’s questions back to them. For example, if they ask me if they can download a new game on the Xbox I will often respond with, “You tell me! Can you?” “Does it meet the standard?” “Is there anything in the game that is not appropriate for your behaviour in real life?” Most times, I do not need to say anymore. We have searched together on commonsense media so many times that they know where to look and how to decide if it is appropriate or not. If they are unsure, I will play the game with them first and we will decide together.