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.

pegi icons

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.

pegi icons

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!

Conversation scripts

It may feel overwhelming at first, but keep reading for ideas on how to start the conversation with your children, in a variety of situations.

Let’s practice

Conversation guide:

Online communication

As some games include the ability to interact online within the game, there are parental control settings that allow you to limit or even prevent your child from communicating with other players. You can control how your child communicates in their games across various parameters: friends only, friends of friends, anyone, or no one.

When discussing online communication with your child, it’s important to remind them that they can come to you if anyone or anything makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s also good to remind them to not share any personal information about themselves online so that they can stay safe.

Click here to start the conversation guide

Conversation guide:

Parental controls and monitoring

Click here to start the conversation guide

Conversation guide:

Screentime habits

Click here to start the conversation guide

parental controls

Through the many useful parental control tools built into every game console, you’re able to set automatic rules and limits with your child on your gameplay habits, from restricting spending and online communication capabilities to setting time and age limits.

Check out resources available in your local language