Parenting “Gamers”

Teaching our kids video game discernment isn’t an easy task today. Some games are so extremely across the line it’s an obvious- “sorry, not in this house.” But today’s parents will find many games where they might need to try to pick there battles (I’ve written about this before).

My 19-year-old son has always been a video game buff, and I’ve always tried to stay a little bit current with games, especially now that we have our video games review page for parents. Yesterday he showed me this trailer for the new Assassin’s Creed 3 video game. I gotta admit… it was kinda catchy. Interesting historical stretch.

The most important principle I emphasize with parents today is the try to use video games as another way to connect with their kids. Parents always pull me aside after my parent workshops and ask me about video games. “Is this game okay?” “What about this one?”

I always ask… “Have you sat down and played it with them?”

Parents who play with their kids will probably find some great opportunities for conversations– not lectures– conversations. Yes, they’ll probably find some games that are inappropriate. These would be good opportunities to ask their kids questions that might help them make discerning choices for themselves while you’re there to guide them.

And who knows… the two of you might actually have some good clean fun. Some say, video games might just be the new “playing catch.”

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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