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Healthy Video Game Habits: Tips for Parents

Healthy Video Game Habits: Tips for Parents

“But I’ve almost completed this level!”

How many times has your child or teen – while clinging to their console – uttered these words?

Rough guess…

In today's digital age, video gaming has become an integral part of the lives of many children and teenagers. And while it can benefit our kids in lots of ways – from supporting cognitive development to promoting social interaction and collaboration – it’s still important for parents and caregivers to set usage limits and encourage healthy gaming habits.

So, are you ready to play… an important part in supporting your young gamer? Then let’s continue.

Do your research and find out what they like

A game’s been getting rave reviews in the playground, but what’s its rating?

We’re talking about the categories set by the Entertainment Software Rating Board1 that are designed to help parents select age-appropriate content for their child or teen gamers:

  • Everyone – content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, and/or infrequent use of mild language.
  • Everyone 10+ – content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy, mild violence, and/or minimal suggestive themes.

  • Teen – content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

So you know where to look, ratings are displayed on physical game packages where they are sold in-store, in online descriptions where games and apps can be downloaded, in advertisements for games, and on websites where games are reviewed.

It’s also important to do your research before purchasing or downloading a game. Read reviews, watch gameplay videos, and engage with other parents to gather insights about the game’s content and potential educational value.

Finally, what do your kids want from a video game?

There’s only one way to find out…

Encourage them to express their gaming interests openly. This not only helps you make informed decisions but also strengthens the parent-child relationships.

Encourage social and cooperative gaming

Make screen time sociable!

Kids know online video games offer a way to connect with friends – in fact, a recent survey revealed that 50% of 13-to17-year-olds communicate via video games at least once a day2.

Look to promote a sense of community by inviting friends and family members to join a multiplayer game. This collaborative and cooperative approach can enhance teamwork and communication skills. To be honest, we’re such big fans of side-by-side gaming adventures that LEGO video games for PC and consoles are designed for split-screen co-op play.

Playing together can also lead to chatting together. So when you’ve logged off, how about initiating a discussion around online security issues, such what your child should do if they think they’ve encountered false information online.

When your kids step away from the sofa, make screen time more balanced by helping them participate in local gaming competitions and clubs. These events support interaction and allow gamers to make real-world friends who share their interests.

Finally, look for games designed to promote teamwork and where success lies in a player’s ability to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate effectively.

Like the look of those life skills? So do we.

Promote online safety and security

We’ve looked at the benefits of gaming and strategies for ensuring a balanced approach to online time, but before we log off, let’s talk safety and security.

Our Build & Talk resource is a fun way to approach the subject of digital safety and well-being, all while getting creative with LEGO in the comfort of your own home.

Simply grab some bricks and download the activity pack, which is filled with conversation-starters around screen time, cyberbullying, privacy, and safely sharing information online.