Video Game Safety Tips for Kids and Parents

For some parents, video games can be a touchy subject. Many worry about the addictive qualities of video games and their child’s safety while playing online. However, with the right boundaries and safe practices, your child can play with minimal risk. There are even some positive benefits to playing games, from improving hand-eye coordination to helping kids learn how to solve problems. 

Importance of boundaries

For parents worried about their children getting addicted to their favorite games, it’s important to set some healthy boundaries around gaming time. While it varies from child to child, a good rule of thumb is to cap gaming time at two hours per day. It’s a good idea to help your child develop other interests, whether it’s reading, spending time outside, or playing sports. 

Safe gaming tips for kids

Another concern that many parents share is the risk of playing video games online with strangers. Depending on your child’s age, they may not know the risks of sharing personal information online, so it’s vital that you lay out some ground rules for their online playing.

Before you let your child play games online, sit down and go over some important rules. Many games nowadays have voice chat functions, so it’s important that they use the voice chat wisely and remember to keep up their guard when talking to strangers. 

Voice-masking technology can make it far too easy for predators to chat online with kids, so ensure that your child knows never to give away personal information to other gamers. Because playing against strangers can be risky, it’s advised that children under 15 only play with people they know. 

Ensure that your child uses a nickname for their gaming profiles, and help them pick out an avatar so they aren’t tempted to use their real picture. Tell them to watch out for cyberbullies, and to let you know if they’re playing against anyone that makes them feel uncomfortable. 

Safety tips for parents

Before you let your kid play video games online, be sure to learn as much as you can about online gaming. Review games and their ratings before you download or buy games, and ensure they’re age-appropriate. It’s a good idea to play the game yourself so you can see what it’s like and if it’s appropriate for your child.

Set parental controls for games. Most consoles will allow you to manage things like privacy settings, purchasing power, and even time limits. Remember that games can be played on multiple devices, so ensure your parental controls extend to all devices your child uses for gaming. Keep your password private, and learn how to set the controls yourself so your child isn’t calling the shots.

While you’re taking steps to control your child’s gaming experience, it’s important to also establish trust with your kids. If you want them to show you they can manage time limits, you could leave the time limit function off so they can exhibit proper boundaries around gaming time.

Making gaming more fun

Along with helping establish safety ground rules, see if you can improve their gaming experience by getting some new pieces of gaming equipment. One great item to upgrade their gaming experience is a new gaming monitor. Finding one with crystal-clear images will make games more fun and exciting for your kid. 

Another great item to get is a headset. Your child will be able to easily play while chatting with their friends online if they have a high-quality set of headphones and a microphone. Just be sure to take advantage of deals and discounts when you’re searching online.

Gaming doesn’t have to be a source of stress for your family if you follow the above advice for safe gaming. The important takeaways include laying strong boundaries around time limits, ensuring they know how to keep themselves safe from online predators, and establishing a trusting relationship with your child.

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