Jeremy Edge, LPC
Answers for Parents With Kids Who Play Video Games
More than 2.5 billion people in the world play video games and the majority of teenagers play video games in the U.S. With the summer here, kids are likely to be gaming more than the school year. With the increased time, parents could struggle with knowing how to navigate problems around video games.
The Smith Family
Let’s take the example of the Smith family struggling to manage video games in their home. Paul (11) and Brandon (17) love video games. Paul enjoys playing Minecraft for hours with his friends and Brandon loves playing Valorant by himself. Both boys play very different games and are affected differently.
Paul plays different video games like Minecraft, Final Fantasy 14, NBA 2K, and Rocket League. He rarely plays by himself and does it to get away from stress at school. He’s faced bullies and one way Paul deals with that is through video games. He is a good student and keeps up with his homework. He plays games after his responsibilities are done. But on the weekend, he only wants to play games. Paul rarely comes out of his room and doesn’t want to interact with the family.
Brandon almost always plays one game, Valorant. He doesn’t care about playing with friends but only wants to rank up. He watches others play Valorant on YouTube and Twitch. He doesn’t care about school. He’s naturally gifted but doesn’t apply himself academically. Over the last school year, his grades have dropped significantly. He used to play on the basketball team at school but stopped going to practice. He fights with his parents daily about wanting more gaming time. Brandon doesn’t seem to care about anything but playing video games.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith know their kid’s gaming means a lot to them. They see some positives with Paul’s gaming but none with Brandon’s. They are happy to see Paul work on his homework, complete his chores, then play games. They like knowing Paul is gaming with friends he has at school. Mr. and Mrs. Smith don’t understand what Paul is doing in his games, but they like that he’s passionate about it. They don’t understand why Paul get’s angry when they tell him to get off the game, but for the most part, there is little frustration around Paul’s gaming.
The Smiths are frustrated with Brandon’s gaming. Brandon has so much potential but he just doesn’t apply himself. He was in all honors classes last year and now is barley passing standardized classes. He’s applying to colleges and parents are worried he won’t get into a university because of recent grades. Even if Brandon gets into a college, parents are worried if he be able to complete all his responsibilities or will he just play games all day (and night) and flunk out. Mr. and Mrs. Smith know something needs to change but are unsure about how to help.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were never huge fans of video games. They saw their kid's friends with games and didn’t want their kids to be left out. So, reluctantly, they bought their kids gaming systems. They see Paul and Brandon spending money on their games but unsure what they are really buying. Paul and Brandon say they are buying skins, items, and loot boxes but parents are unsure what those are. The Smiths see the purchases are harmless enough but why are their kids spending money on a game they can already play?
The family’s relationships are strained from the stress of video games. It seems like every time the family has a conversation about gaming it ends in frustration of some kind. Either parents don’t understand what their kids are talking about or the kids want more time gaming which parent are not comfortable with. And some of the games seem pretty violent. Doesn’t violent video games cause kids to be violent?
The Smiths also find themselves asking more and more questions about video games. Questions like…
Why do my kids play video games?
What type of video games do my kids play?
How does the gaming environment affect my kids?
Are there any benefits of video games?
Where do I start in having a good conversation with my kids about video games?
How can I reduce blow-ups around video games?
How can I improve my child’s behavior around video games?
What do experts and other parents say about healthy gaming?
Mr. and Mrs. Smith want to gain more understanding on what’s going on with their kids and video games but don’t know where to turn.
The Answer: The Powered Up Parent
It can be hard to find information to help parents like the Smiths. Parents know there are issues around video games and their kids but unsure how to address it. Parents see their kids love video games and don’t want to take them away, but they also see issues.
The Powered Up Parent course is designed for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This course answers all the questions the Smiths. One parent who took the course said the following…
“This short course prepares you as a parent / caregiver to understand the high level concepts with gaming, the effects is has on our children and what you can do to take an active role in ensuring your child is using gaming in a positive way. You don’t want to miss this one.”
If you are a parent and would like to gain knowledge, awareness, and confidence around your child’s gaming, check out the Powered Up Parent course.