Flexyourgeek.com alerted me to an interesting study that is about to be published regarding video game’s having an effect on a child’s metal development and overall mental health.
This study is missing a lot of variables, but the main one is this – where are the parents and what are they doing? Any child will have a problem with video games if the parents are not involved, especially young children. Fortunately, I took some lessons from my parents when video games were awesome and T.V. was the media’s target.
When I was a kid, the NES and Atari were available. Yes, I was around during the “stone age” of video games. My parents bought into everything that came out about how awful T.V. was for us. As a kid, I had a big problem with that. Hey, I couldn’t watch “Jem” and “G.I. Joe” every day. This was a huge issue for me! As an adult, I appreciate the lessons taught and I also appreciate the lessons taught with the video games as well.
My family spent more time gaming than we did watching movies or T.V. at one point.Both my Mom and Dad were with us during game time. They played with us and made a family activity out of it. They were part of what we did and made sure that they supervised what we were doing.
I supervise both of the kids when they play video games. I also supervise them when they play outside, watch T.V. or even paint and color. It’s the smart thing to do and the right thing to do. Neither of mine have an issue with video games and when an issue comes up, their Dad and I put our heads together and solve it. Sometimes that means gaming is taken away for awhile. Other times, it means that gaming is limited for one reason or another.
The point is, we are active in how video games play a part in their development. They are used as a family activity and also a learning experience. When something is presented to them in a game, we use it to help further their creativity, problem solving, reading, spelling and even math.
A little common sense in parenting goes a long way to keep away problems that this study is highlighting. Ultimately, it is up to you to be actively engaged in whatever your child is doing and make it a family activity. Otherwise, you are asking for problems in their mental, emotional and personal development.