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Well i have two daughters 12 and 14 , but i know that in 2004 i had a problem with gaming, it started to comsume my whole life i have (since then) cut back a fair amount. I dont let my kids play the games i do nor do i encourage them to do so. But i know one day they may end up playing them.I do tell them that my gaming was a partial reason why me and their mother split up but to not let them be afraid of gaming because its up to each individual person to regualte how much they play. i let them know my own experiences and what to watch out for if they decide to play.
I think that all you can to is just give your kids the best information you can and hope that your paranting has been good.
I grew up with games starting with my Atari 2600 all the way up to my PC and PS3. So it makes sense that my kids are also growing up with them. My wife and I are gamers and geeks in general yet we both are responsible and are teaching our kids to also be responsible. Do we sometimes spend 5 or 6 hours gaming in a day? Sure, but we also spend that and more at the park, eating dinner, talking and rolling around on the floor. Oh yea...homework, Dr. Who, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek / Wars, acting silly and many other things are in there too. Plus, we screen every game our kids play (we have 3 comps and they are all in the family room so everyone can see everything....besides, my kids are good kids anyway ;P). Pretty much boils down to personal responsibility. I've had so much fun playing games all my life that there is no way I would deprive my kids of the same.
Gaming may not be the healthiest or productive activity to offer a child, but I will give the writer credit for being involved with his children.
It's more than most parents can boast in this era.
As someone who grew up in the 60s and 70s and was a gamer way back then and still is. I see gaming as a fun hobby, as a parent I make sure just like any other hobby that I explain things and monitor what is going on. I've got one son in the military like I was, one in college and two daughters still in high school. I've also been an online gamer for about twenty years now and a couple of our kids are also into online gaming of various types.
Since all of the kids have maintained high grades, and been active in sports, band, drama etc, including going to state as captain of the cross country team in the case of one of the boys, I've not seen any negative impact from the hobby of playing games. Of course all of them read a lot as well, this house has thousands of books, 4 desktop units 3 lap tops , PS3, X-box etc. We are all very busy and yet the wife and I have always managed to keep a close eye on what the kids do and have done a good job at explaining to them how we expect them to behave and how not to behave.
For us the simple rule with online behavior or behavior anywhere has been this, "put yourself in the shoes of the person your talking to or interacting with. Would you like it if what you were saying was being directed at you? Be honest with yourself on that one and you'll seldom run into any problems." None of them have ever been in a fight, and we talk about everything, and always have. Are they perfect? Hell no, but their good people and I'm proud of who each one is and what they do.
A big difference in how I parent versus how my parents parented me is this. I make sure I explain the whats and whys of everything. The cause and effect as it were, trying to spark common sense and critical thinking in the kids. ( say kids but when your talking 16 to 23 really your talking young adult to adult now) Anyhow my point is that it worked, I know I might have reacted much differently to things my parents chewed my ass on if they had bothered to explain things better then just yelling at me with things like, "Your grounded! Don't ever do that again! Because I say so!" We've also always been consistant and I believe fair with discpline in regards to punishment.
Anyhow whether the kids hobby is gaming, football, skiing or picking their toe nails, monitoring, explaining, and making sure that you try never to be a hypocrite are really good things to keep in mind. Our approach has always been that we want them to talk to us, and that they understand that we don't pretend to be perfect or always know the answer, but that we care enough to try and find out. That they can come to us and talk about anything and even if we don't agree with them we will respect their point of view. So whether its sex education, gaming, careers or politics, just give your kids some credit and listen to them and talk with them, not to them. Wow did I get long winded an ramble.
Good topic. I have my first kid on the way due in 5 months and I've been thinking about how much exposure (if any) I want them to have to video games. Part of me just wants to pack up all the game systems and not let them see video games at all. But I know eventually they'll discover them and want to play with or without my consent at a friend's house or something.
I was probably around 7 years old when we got our first home console (Atari 2600), but I know kids now are gaming at a much earlier age than that. Plus games back then were way simpler and didn't contain objectionable content like they do these days. I'm just not sure how I feel about 2-3 year old kids being exposed to modern games. Maybe I should just hook up the Super Nintendo and put the other systems away.
My son started playing warhammer with me when he was six. He turns nine next week and we now have his computer set up next to mine and we are eagerly awaiting the release of Tor in a few weeks. We spend all of our spare time togather anyway and this is just another thing we can do without having to sit through another episode of sponge bob.
Is it good for kids? I have no idea but they are going to play games anyway, it might as well be in a situation where I'm involved also.
I think moderation is key. My neighbor's son is 6 years old and weighs about 100 pounds. You never see him outside because he is glued to the TV playing games. My son and I started playing SWG together in 2005 when he was 11. We would not allow ourselves to play very long because I didn't want him becoming an addict. And...blood clots from extended play are becoming more and more common these days.
I have no intention of letting my kids play MMOs (or even video games in general). Its bad enough as an adult to control the amount of time I spend playing them, let alone a small child with no self restraint.
Not even addressing the fact that a lot of the shit on MMOs is incredibly inappropriate for kids (namely because of the other players), kids dont need to spend hours of their waking lives in front of a computer gamig. I regret doing it myself, and will def not be doing so with kids.
good article, this topic could go on for days. My children play games of course too and I plan to play tor with my 9 y/o, which will require a second account . I plan to censor the game in several ways, i.e can only play when I am on, cannot talk to anyone, and I'll closely monitor the companion to keep out any romance non-sense. Other things will come about but I figure as long as i'm playing with him I can regulate the content. Despite all that we are both looking forward to it and my wife is even going to get the kids a new computer to handle the requirements of the game
i felt compelled to talk about one more issue, which is activities other than games. It's really trite to say the kids should go outside more and play tag, climb trees and fences and stuff but they really don't have much value for those things and to create fun on their own. What i do with my 9 y/o is to put him in the cubscouts which he loves. This gets him learning new skills, interacting with other boys and finding other aspects of life he likes rather than just the games. It's also another venue that I can do things with him. Highly recommend it for those of you with elementary school kids 1st to 4th grade.
I'm glad to have read this article. My son has been sitting in my lap gaming with me since he was an infant. He is also a football player and T-baller as well though, and is now five himself. You are right I have watched him learn a lot from gaming and now I hope his new sister can as well.
I am currently getting my masters in Educational Technology and when I get my doctors I plan to do the research in using games (AAA games) to teach literacy skills. As a gamer I see the value in some of these games and I want to let my students have an opportunity to learn in a way that is meaningful to them! I love this article and I'm printing it out as further evidence for my cause :P