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Why Parents Need To Embrace Their Child's Gaming Habits

gamer girl taking brake from studying

There's a lot of discussion about kids and gaming. Depending on your perspective, they can be seen as either inherently bad or a valuable part of your child's life.

While there is no one right or wrong way to view the subject of gaming, both board games and video games, there is no denying that children can benefit greatly from playing games of this type and, indeed, games in various formats, especially video games. You see, technology is evolving at such a fast pace. By neglecting to allow your child access to screens, games, and media or using the internet for anything at all, you are putting them and their future at a disadvantage. Technology already does and will play a massive part in your child's life, so finding the right balance in your life, and that of your child to allow them to develop the necessary skills and enjoy playing games can be massively beneficial to them now and in the future.

As a parent, you have the power to shape your child's gaming experiences. Whether it's board games, fantasy games, mobile gaming, PC gaming, video games on different gaming systems, or even card games, your child can learn a lot and benefit significantly from these activities. It's all about finding the right balance and guiding them in their choices.

Need more convincing? That's not a problem. This article is going to take a deep dive into the many benefits games can offer your child, regardless of whether they choose to play or what you expose them to.

Improved Reading Skills

Struggling to get your child to read? It's a common problem many parents have; the reality may be that they're simply not reading anything that captures their attention. There are numerous studies on the benefits of reading for children; it's a valuable life skill everyone needs. However, if your child is playing games, there's a real chance this can open up a world of reading that you might not have otherwise considered. You see, to learn how to play games, find cheat codes, develop skills, or navigate the levels, players need to read instructions. This can unlock a natural curiosity leading to reading magazines based on the game of their choice, for example, the actual instructions or real-life gameplay strategies from other players, blogs on the game, internet forums, and more. Plus, if the game requires them to read directions, as in games like Dungeons and Dragons, this drastically improves speech and comprehension, too. So the next time you find yourself exasperated at your child for not reading, ask yourself, are you opening up the world of reading to find them a format and topic that they want to read about? Because sometimes what they read isn't half as importantt as reading full stop.

Problem Solving and Creative Thinking

Children are blessed with amazing imaginations, and anything and everything is possible in their minds. Pairing this with gaming can really bring their imagination to the forefront and help them get the most from the game they are playing. On top of this, every single game you come across is based on solving a problem. You need to come up with a solution to the problem, and in many cases, you need to think critically and creatively to get the desired result. As an adult, you know just how vital problem-solving and creative thinking can be, right? Even if you don't feel creative, you are likely solving a multitude of problems each and every, even deciding to allow your child to play computer games or not dissolving a problem. 

So why not give them the chance to explore these skills in an age-appropriate way, playing games that are designed to be fun and challenge young minds in a way that doesn't feel like learning anything? 

It could be that they need to get creative to complete a level in their video games. Or they might find that building a new 3D world for the game of their eg D&D, and choosing new parts and set pieces like Dungeon Tiles can help them create solutions to problems or elevate their strategy or critical thinking skills by allowing them to see things in real life.

Once they've had the chance to develop these gameplay skills, they can learn how to apply this thinking to real-life scenarios and develop practical life skills that will serve them well throughout childhood and into adulthood, too.

Improved Social Connections and Team Play Abilities

Gaming has traditionally been considered a solo activity, and those who immerse themselves in this world are considered socially awkward and outcasts. But these days, modern gaming couldn't be further from this stereotype. Collaborative and multiplayer games allow people to join others playing the same game and join forces to play together, thus boosting their social connections and their ability to be team players. When gamers work together playing a game that takes them on a quest as they travel the board or pick a card, or they are diving into video games that require multiple players, they need to learn to work together to come out victorious and tackle issues both in the game and with other players.

Your child can benefit from increased exposure to others not in their immediate circle and learn how to converse with a diverse range of the population and experience a camaraderie they might not get anywhere else, thus boosting mental health and aligning them to feel like a valued member of society. Never underestimate the connections anyone can build when playing games; of course, monitoring such connections is vital to keep your child safe, but when you can verify they're playing with others the same age in a safe environment, they can get a lot from multiplayer games.

Being a team player is something they need throughout their education journey and will be something employers look for when they reach working age, so allowing them to experience this a less formal and low pressure environment can help them understand what it takes for them to work in this type of situation to get the best results.

Improved Career Options

As mentioned in the first paragraphs of this post, technology is a huge part of life right now, and allowing your child to play video games can help them develop valuable life skills that can support a career once they leave school. Career options such as graphic designers, game creators, professional gamers, game publishers, game testers, game animators, and so many more.

In addition, it can open many doors for your child to take up other technology-based careers not related to gaming. They could become teachers, for example, and use their knowledge of gaming to help others learn via gamification. They can become therapists who use games to help unlock their patients' issues in a less formal manner. They could become programmers, cyber security experts, journalists, and much more.

If you want to support your child's future-proof career (the gaming industry is growing at an exponential rate and isn't showing any signs of slowing anytime soon), then helping them develop essential skills required for modern careers through gaming can be a great tool in your arsenal.

Improved Communication And Bonding

If you're having issues connecting with your child, games of any type can help you forge a connection and get to know and appreciate each other in a different scenario than just parent and child. 

Take the time to understand why your child loves to play a certain game, and then use this to bond by asking them to help you learn the game, too. Avoid infringing on their personal time playing, and instead, ask them when you can join in so they can help you understand the game. You never know; you might love it, too. The simple act of taking an interest in their interests can be a great opener and a way to communicate with others in a more relaxed and informal way.

Far from seeing gaming as a barrier and an annoyance in your relationship, embrace it, support your child, and show them that what is important to them is important to you.

When it comes to the topic of gaming, every single person will have their own thoughts on the subject. However, as a parent, challenging what you know and what you think of gaming can help you to be a better parent. Instead of looking at what gaming can take away from life and the negative connotations attached to this hobby or pastime, look for the positives and the benefits it can bring you and your child.

Gaming is here to stay, and if your child really wants to explore this avenue, then working with them to find an age-appropriate game or a gaming method that works for your life can allow you to meet them at a comfortable place without denying them the opportunity to see what it's all about. Have rules, be sensible, and embrace all the benefits of gaming.