My son loves playing video games. It’s been something he’s loved since he was old enough to hold a controller. While limiting his game time is a must, I think it’s important to nurture the things your children are passionate about. There are careers for just about everything these days, and who am I to tell my son what he should pursue? So I came up with a plan that gets my kid the game time he loves while teaching him to shape his future. After all, isn’t that what we are meant to do as parents?
I have a friend who hates, hates, hates video games. She’s always telling me that if it were her son, he wouldn’t be allowed to play them. I couldn’t disagree with her more. Are there not careers in gaming? Are there not YouTubers making millions by doing what they love, playing video games? The answer is yes. And to pursue these things, you’ve got to be good at it. Here’s what I do to commit to good parenting while respecting my son’s passion and guiding his path.
How Much Should You Let Your Kid Play Video Games
I’m not a scientist or a psychologist, so I can’t give you a scientific answer. But in my family I let my son play for two hours a day and three on weekends. This gives him the time to enjoy his passion while doing other things like playing outside, playing with his other toys (he loves Nerf, Lego and riding his bike), and spending time with family. In my opinion, this is a healthy balance.
When he’s not playing video games…
We like to talk about careers in gaming. We also like to pull up YouTube videos on ways to work in the video game industry. This gives him vision and perspective. Something I feel is very important to kids as they start to develop an idea of their future. It also gives him a reality check into what he might be doing with his eight hour work day, and whether or not he wants to turn his passion into work. Because while it can play out perfectly, if he gets sick of it he might get burnt out from the thing he loves.
I also talk to anyone and everyone I can who is in the gaming world about their career paths and if they have any advice for him. This has become something he really enjoys talking about, and I’m proud of that.
He respects my position and authority as a parent, even though he would love to play for twelve hours straight. I strongly feel that when he looks back on these times, no matter what path he chooses, he’ll know I was supportive of his interests. And that’s what it’s all about.
No matter what you choose to do with regard to the time you allow your kids to play video games, be sure to nurture their ideas and give them the tools and information they need to follow a successful path. In the end, you and your kids will be proud.
Here’s a fun infographic on the History of Gaming from Fanatical.
Provided by Fanatical