Gone are the days of parents needing to worry about “too much gaming”. When video games were breaking ground in the early 70’s, 80’s and even in the early 2000’s, parents believed that video games were detrimental to the early development of children. After years of research, we have found that gaming does quite the opposite. According to a 2015 study in The Journal of Neuroscience (Gregory D. Clemenson and Craig E.L. Stark, 2015), researchers concluded that video games help children and adults when it comes to cognitive skills and provide the brain with meaningful stimulation. Countless other studies have also proven the positive correlation between gaming and children, like improved motor skills, improved memory, and enhanced ability for critical thinking.
Most recently, in 2020, National Geographic (Knor, 2020) unveiled a new article in which they stated that video games helped children with social skills during the pandemic as it served as a means of socialization. While gaming has been proven to be beneficial for children, sometimes it can take up precious bonding time. What is the resolution to this?
Game with your kids! Not only can it be fun to learn a new skill while bonding with your child, but there are other positive effects that you may not have thought of. For me, I was COMPLETELY against doing it until I started doing homework on the industry, remembering my OWN habits as a “gamer” when I was younger, and researching the Gen Z market as a whole. Here are some reasons why gaming with your kids is beneficial :
1. Allows for connection and working collaboratively
Gaming with your child not only helps them to connect with you, but others. Gaming with someone else allows them to understand the importance of collaboration and working with others. It’s shown that this type of interaction with your child fosters the understanding of relationships with others and working as a team!
2. Encourages conversation with parents!
Playing video games fosters the imagination and it will help you both bond and have something to converse about. You will not only have something in common with your child, but you are bound to share stories and small talk while playing. Whether you share stories about your day, about that moment your kid laughed at you for not knowing what to do in the game (that would be me), or a strategy for winning the game, you are both sharing in meaningful conversation.
3. Allows them to view you in a different light
It is important that your child can confide in you and view you as someone who they can talk to. Sharing in their hobbies and passions allows them to humanize you and see you as a friend that they can go to. They can learn with you, strategize with you, win and lose with you and just have fun–all the while knowing you are STILL “Mom” or “Dad!”
Go right now! Play some Mario Kart, Fortnite, NBA2K, Oculus, or old school PacMan and enjoy the moment!!