Talking to your kids about their video game play

As video games continue to play a large role in many people’s daily lives as a way of entertainment, connection, and learning, it’s important for parents to be empowered to make the best choices for their children when it comes to what they play, how they play, and for how long they play.

Why is it important to talk to your children about playtime or #SeizeTheControls?

You, as parents (or those with parental responsibility), are best suited to assess the child’s maturity and determine the extent to which you need to intervene, as children’s digital literacy and maturity levels vary greatly. Some children may need guidance to understand the potential risks they may face online.

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We have discovered that it is more important to agree with your children on appropriate rules regarding the level of parental controls and filtering on a device than to simply turn on all the controls by default. Studies have shown that families who play together have fewer disagreements about playtime. The ultimate goal is to support children than control them.

How can you start a conversation about parental controls and gameplay?

Parental controls can help you start conversations about gameplay: We recommend that you use parental controls to initiate a discussion with your child about their gameplay experience and the reasons for the ground rules you are establishing.

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Joining in on the fun

One of the best ways to better understand what all of the excitement is about is to play video games with your child. Video games can be a fun, interactive way to spend quality time with your child, and it offers a great entry point into discussing the content they consume and the importance of responsible gameplay.

By using the game to discuss what limits to set, what to buy, who to befriend, and so on, you create opportunities that not only help you understand why your child is interested in playing video games, but it can also encourage healthy, open dialogue as a result.

Taking an interest in your child’s video game hobby can also help you be better informed about how to set reasonable ground rules for their gameplay experience. By working together with your child on boundaries and expectations around gameplay, you can come to a mutual agreement that works well for everyone.

When talking to your child about responsible gameplay, it’s important to listen to what your children have to say, be honest and have a firm position while still coming from a place of understanding for their position. At the end of the day, it is your decision as to how video games fit into your child’s daily life, and this is something that isn’t one-size-fits-all: you know better than anyone what is best for your child!

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By using the many parental control tools built into every game console, handheld devices and operating systems for PC and Mac, you’re able to set rules and limits with your child on their gameplay, including blocking games by age rating, limit their time spent, restricting spending and online communication capabilities.

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