As a parent, you remain one of the most important role models in terms of shaping how your children behave. Knowing how to talk to them about gaming can be daunting but follow these simple rules and remember: NO ONE EXPECTS YOU TO BE AN EXPERT…
Right time, right place – Start the conversation while doing an activity and avoid one-offs to create an environment where they feel comfortable coming to you.
Focus on the behaviour – Make it clear that the behaviour is the problem, not your child.
Explain why it’s not okay – Help them understand the impact of their actions. For example, the impact their mood swings when come off games has on others.
Be curious and empathetic – Don’t judge, focus on listening and trying to understand things from their perspective. Reassure them that you want to help them manage the situation.
Get Involved – Find out what games your child enjoys and make sure they’re age appropriate. Play together with your child and keep the technology in shared family spaces rather than bedrooms.
Stay safe – Be clear what information is and isn’t appropriate to share, particularly personal details, share how to set privacy settings and how to block or report an issue.
Talk finance – Discuss the costs of games and in-game purchases and agree spend limits.
Set boundaries – Agree how long is appropriate to play in one session and how many sessions in a day. Then setup these restrictions in parental settings with your child.
Remember, you don’t need to be an expert on the topic to start a conversation.