The YMCA has launched, 'A Parents Guide To Gaming', a free and highly informative information booklet for parents concerned about how they’ll manage their kids screen time.
The booklet focuses on a number of issues and topics, including conflict over screen time, which can is currently causing a great deal of stress for households right around the country. The guide provides a balanced view on gaming and outlines the positives without shying away from the negatives.
Author Steven Dupon, Manager of Manningham YMCA Youth Services, says video games “are great and can be a fantastic tool for learning and entertainment as long as parents stay in control”. Here are his top five tips to avoid conflict over screen time:
- Play with your kids. Put the gaming device in the family room and have a go yourself. If you understand the game, you’ll find it easier to manage.
- Choose the right game. Read the classification and know the content of the game. You want to know the messages that your child is exposed to.
- Set game specific limits instead of time limits. Let your child complete one or two levels of a game instead of giving them full access to the device and letting them do whatever they want.
- Practice stopping. Your child simply can’t self-regulate their gaming because these parts of the brain aren’t fully developed yet. They need to learn these behaviours by practicing them.
- Get help when gaming gets out of hand. Speak to a professional early if you feel you’re losing control.
The YMCA Parents’ Guide to Gaming was developed to encourage parents to take control of the screens and game devices they purchased for their children.
Download the guide free here.