March 18, 2020

Gaming: Not All Bad! (Thank Goodness)

Studies show our kids’ gaming doesn’t necessarily correlate with lower grades, hyperactivity, or aggressiveness. But ask any parent: Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, or Xbox can make one cranky zombie. Here’s how to set gaming rules for your household.

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If your kids are home more right now, chances are they're gaming more. Part of that is just going with the flow of this moment. But as any mom whose kid can game all afternoon will tell you, the problem comes when it's time to turn them OFF. There's never a good time (and no, your kids aren't lying; the games are designed that way). And there's no question video games are addicting- in a recent study, 6 out of 10 teens said they'd made their own attempts, apart from parental influence, to cut back.

But the evidence linking gaming to hyperactivity, aggression, and worse grades at school is more tenuous than you might think. And there are distinct, significant advantages that gaming can give kids. In this episode, we discuss the good and bad of gaming, plus how to set household policies around gaming that will make everyone happy.

Here are links to research and other writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Adam Lobel et al: Video Gaming and Children’s Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Study

Dawnthea Price Lisco for Slate Parenting: Decide What Age-Appropriate Means To You

Science Daily: Video game ratings work, if you use them

Science Daily: School, health and behavior suffer when children have TV, video games in bedroom

Pew Research Center: Teens hold mixed opinions about whether they spend too much time in front of screens …

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