3 Questions Parents Of Gamer-Kids Should Ask Themselves Immediately

Sep 1, 2015 by

Jordan Shapiro –

When my ex-wife and I separated about four years ago, I started playing video games with my kids. I wanted to spend time with them, but I didn’t want to pull them away from the things that gave them a sense of comfort in tumultuous times. So I bought them a Nintendo Wii. Then I snuggled up next to them on the couch and we played hours of New Super Mario Brothers. We cheered each other on, discussed our favorite parts of the game, and just generally had a great time.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, researching, and writing about the impact of screens on children and their families. I’ve discovered that when it comes to parenting, folks have a very strange relationship to the screen itself. There seems to be a unique fear of what screens will do to our kids. Most adults I know seem perfectly content to stare at their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but they worry when they see their kids doing exactly the same thing. Why?

Maybe it is because their parents told them not to sit too close to the television. Maybe it is because they remember reading George Orwell in high school and they fear Big Brother’s two-way telescreens. Either way, it is clear that parents have a complicated and somewhat neurotic relationship to screens when it comes to their children.

Earlier this summer, I wrote a post entitled “Parents Don’t Need To Worry About ‘Screen Time’ Anymore,” in which I argued that because screens had become such a ubiquitous part of our lives—the technological norm of the times—it is now absurd to worry about whether or not they are good or bad for your kids. In fact, these days, parents should be worried about the opposite. Are your kids comfortable and equipped to operate and live with screen-based technologies?

Here are three questions you should ask yourself immediately in order to make sure you’re teaching your children to live thoughtfully within a screen-time world.

1. Do your kids distinguish the life-world from the game-world?

Too often, people misunderstand me when I write or speak about the positive benefits of gaming. They think I’m telling them that it is okay that their children barely look up from the iPad. Likewise, whenever I explain that I don’t think it is good idea to restrict screen time, I worry that people will interpret it as an endorsement for letting their kids play un-monitored.

Source: 3 Questions Parents Of Gamer-Kids Should Ask Themselves Immediately – Forbes

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