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Is your Teen a Gamer?

If your older kids like to play with you, whether Its sports – catch ball, bike shoot hoops, or art, writing, blogging, singing, playing musical instrument, cooking, dancing, running, exercising, yoga, consider yourselves blessed!

Tweens and Teens (9-12), (13-19) hanging out with their parents is not one of their favorite things – in fact they avoid us!

So don’t take it personal – its universal

There are so many issues and topics worth talking about – (suggest)

PLAY is just one of it

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – VIDEO GAMES!

We are Raising Our Kids in a Digital World

According to US Demographic Statistics 2020: Gamers range in age from children under 18 to post-Boomers 70 and up.

· 68% of American adults (163.3 million) are gamers,

· while 70% of American kids age 18 and below (or 51.1 million) are gamers, too (ESA, 2020).

· 7 out of 10 children are gamers

· We cannot not explore the gaming world, where our children will be immersed in

My daughter helped me discover an entire world that I knew nothing about, let alone knew how to parent. The games today are far from the games during my time (pacman, tetris, old mario bros – played alone) Gaming today is a connected,

· multiplayer, interactive entertainment experience. It’s full of competition, problem solving, puzzles, logic.

Good stuff, right?

It’s also full of conversations, culture, history, musical scores, art, dialogue,

· moral choices — stuff you actually want your kids to learn. Plus, gaming has philosophy, strategy, and amazing skill.

Imagine Manipulating/Interacting

Imagine reading a really good book, or watching a great movie or sporting event — but this time you get to manipulate it, compete in it and interact with it. That’s modern video gaming.

Can’t Pause a Game - Penalty

My daughter continued to teach me more things.

For example, she told me that when I shut off the game, she get a suspension, explaining, “Mom, I have a responsibility and you keep asking us to pause the game. You can’t pause an online game. Seriously, Mom, you can’t pause a game.”

We’re live on a headset in a multiplayer game with our friends, and we’re actually meeting new, real friends.”

Decide to become curious, ask about how the games are played (expand) animal crossing, DnD

Use to my Advantage to do chores

One time, my oldest son Connor came to me and said “Mom, seriously, what do I need to do to get you to leave me alone after 3PM today?”

Ø I realized I could use his request to my advantage. So I made a list: Get your homework done and engage with Grandma at the table at lunch time (eye contact and all); I even added pulling weeds to the list. He got everything done. He said “Mom, this is so cool. All I really wanted to do this afternoon was rank up.”

If it’s Important to Her – It Needs to be important to me too

It dawned on me how important this is to my child

In gaming, there are levels and leagues and rewards to be earned, so I figured if it’s important to her, it needed to be important to me too.

College Scholarships

This is exactly what Dr. Chris Haskell, associate clinical professor and esports head coach from Boise State University, says about his esport scholar-athletes.

He is looking for gamers that have goals and are willing to improve in their game.

In fact, many colleges now give scholarships for esports,

Also, both the military and other industries now use video-game-type simulations in their jobs.

New Mindset on Gaming

I started treating gaming like a sport with practices and everything.

Would you go to your kid’s soccer practice or their baseball game and start yelling at the coach, “Stop everything, my kid needs to take out the trash now”? Of course not.

I chose to let my daughter game uninterrupted as long as she first took care of her responsibilities.

Watching pro plays - fanning

Have you seen your kids watch others play video game? (what do you feel/think? Please write on the chat)

Young people are watching others play video games. I used to criticize them for doing this. Well, I also watches other people play games — I was a huge basketball fan. I would sit longer if there’s an overtime.

No one, not even my parents lecture me and my adult friends and say, “You’re rotting your brain away and you’re wasting your life”?

they chose to let me enjoy watching pro sports.

When a gamer is watching another person play video games, they’re usually watching the pros and they’re trying to get tips and tricks for the games that they play.

How about the Bad Stuff

Now you may be thinking, “Well, she didn’t bring up about any of the bad stuff about video games.” You’re right.

It’s true — there are concerns with online communication and other issues,

and that’s why it’s even more important to be involved in a gamer kid’s life.

In my own home, my daughter and I have maintained an open dialogue about online behavior and balance.

She doesn’t lock her door, I can completely hear everything, and can come in when I wish to – as long as I am quiet and will not distract anyone.

My Advise

My advice isn’t just for parents. It’s also for grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles, godparents, good friends, school administrators and other relatives: Be curious. I want to give you a simple solution. Start a conversation with your gamer kid by asking them these three questions.

Ø What games do you play?

Ø Why do you enjoy playing those particular games?

Ø Can I watch you game sometime?

If we don’t embrace gaming, we might lose connection with the people that we love the most.

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