Monday, October 12, 2020

How To Manage Your Kid's Gaming Hobby

 So your kid loves gaming? They won’t be the only ones. It’s a hobby for millions of people, in an industry worth almost 200 billion. Gamers come in all different shapes and sizes. People can game for a living, others can for a hobby, and unfortunately, others get completely addicted to games to the point where it can ruin a life. Gaming is insanely popular with children, to a varying degree. Interest plays a big part, but there’s always going to be some in your own child’s friendship group interested in gaming who will pull them in. Gaming isn’t bad, and unfortunately it comes with a stigma in certain circles. Yet, sometimes a gaming hobby needs to be managed properly, for a whole host of reasons, especially if you’re trying to homeschool during these difficult times. Here are some points to consider when managing your child’s gaming hobby. A key point to remember, however, is that all children are different. You’ll know yours better than anyone and you’ll know how they respond to certain stimuli and restrictions. As such, always bear that in mind when considering a response and be careful when seeking to apply advice straight from the page instead of thinking it through. Try to apply anything in a bespoke way, not a wide reaching one.

Watch Out For The Pricing

Gaming doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby for your children, but it can be if you aren’t careful. You only have to spend a short while with Google and you’ll see some horror stories of kids buying thousands of pounds worth of extras. You can see some of this with the high cost of the next generation consoles. Some parents like to keep their children happy but this can lead to them needing to seek out debt relief such as DTSS sovereign. The key pitfalls are in in game purchases. Take Fortnite for example. The game itself is free, you’ll be happy to know. You’ve probably heard of it as it’s taken the world by storm the last few years. While the game is free, the add ons aren’t. These usually come in the form of in game wearables. No one wants the basic stuff. While one or two items are cheap, they can build up if they have your bank details on the system. To avoid this, remove your card details from the system. Even if you have a child who you think wouldn’t purchase items, it’s better safe than sorry because these amounts can be really hard to get refunded. 


Be Careful What Games You Let Them Play

Games come with age ratings, just like films and you should try to stick to these as best as possible. However, you know how mature your children are. If all of their friends are playing a game and you think they’d be okay to play, then go ahead. A popular one is Call of Duty which is an eighteen rated game in most iterations. Teenagers are usually fine with games like this but it's the smaller children who can potentially be damaged by playing games like this so be as careful as you can. Even the ones which look like they’re designed for children can be deceptive. This is certainly the case if they’re gaming on an iPhone, some weird games can get approved for the Apple or Android store so try to be careful when using those platforms to let your children's game. If you’re ever unsure then check the reviews. Also speak to other parents in your child’s friendship group just to see what’s going on and whether they’re playing the game too.

Use It As A Reward System

It’s important that gaming doesn't become the be all and end all. If they’re in school or college and have important exams coming up, then is the time to limit it. You can do this by rewarding good behavior. Two hours of study can give an hour of gaming or any variation you think is appropriate. You can also incentivize good performance. If there’s a new game coming out or a new console, you can offer to buy it if the child gets a good grade or hits a certain percentile. It’s a great way to reward them without having to take something away. There doesn’t have to be exams either. You can do this on a grade maintaining basis or a weekly basis. If your child plays with friends, linking up with their parents and working out a schedule helps because your child will know that they aren’t missing out. If they know their friends aren’t playing without them they won’t be so hard done by when doing school work. If you haven’t used it as a reward system before it can be hard to bed in and implement. 

Remember The Positives

It’s important to remember that there are many positives to gaming. At the moment, with coronavirus changing the way people socialize and even live, gaming can be a great chance for your children to speak to their friends. Interaction is vital for a child’s mental health and taking gaming away could, in some cases, take their only interaction away depending on how severe the lockdown is in your area. Each family will differ, as will each child, but interaction is always a must. Gaming is also good for brain development. Playing games like shooters or racing games are great for the reflexes as they hone them and make them sharper. They also work on problem solving skills and social interaction. Working with friends to overcome problems in the gaming world develop vital skills for adult life. The point is there are many positives to gaming, don’t blinker yourself into thinking otherwise. It’s just the same as watching TV or being addicted to Netflix...always remember that if you’re fixing to judge. Everything in moderation. Too much of it is bad, especially if you find your child is missing out on social events or becoming completely withdrawn. 

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