Make gaming a positive experience

Online gaming has become one of the most popular ways for kids to play, but it can also be a concern for parents or a source of tension within families.

man and young boy play a video game

The following guide can help you and your kids agree on positive ways to game.

Understand online gaming

Talk to your kids and learn about their favorite online games to better understand their gaming experiences. Gaming comes in many different forms — some may be more positive than others. Learn more about your kid's favorite games to better guide your discussions with them.

Explore the good parts of gaming

Have your kids talk about the healthy aspects about the games they play. As a prompt, ask about specific elements often found in gaming, such as learning new information, teamwork, and strategy. If you’re game savvy yourself, it might also be helpful to talk about specific aspects of games that you think are positive.

What are the not so good parts of gaming?

Now ask them if there are ever times where gaming makes them feel bad or causes conflict with family or friends. Have they ever encountered bullying or threatening language while playing a game? This is also a good time to talk about feeling “left out” if they don’t play a certain game or if they have to log off before finishing a level.

“When your child is involved in a game or online activity, hop on and do it together. What can you learn together with them?”

Natasha Bhuyan, MD

Brainstorm positive ways to game

Talk about ways gaming can benefit your kids when done in a balanced way. Maybe gaming can help them improve at a sport because they better understand the strategies. Maybe it can help with hand-eye coordination or reflexes. Or maybe it can inspire an offline activity with their friends.

Play games together

Take part in helping to build a positive gaming experience with your kid by playing together. Build a stronger relationship through play. You might even learn something new!

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