Gaming Safety For Today’s Kids

by Daniel Sherwin on December 11, 2020

Gaming has become a huge part of kids’ lives today. It brings them together, which is especially important when they have to be physically apart. But online gaming is vastly different from the way we grew up playing games. Kids have access to more than just their friends and alarmingly, this means that complete strangers have access to them. It is our job as parents to keep them safe. Fortunately, we can do so without interfering with their online gaming experience.

The founders of Cliqq Clothing hope you’ll enjoy today’s post, which covers an array of ways to keep your kiddos safe and entertained when they want to enter the world of online gameplay. 

The Experience

There are two primary avenues by which kids can play online with their friends. These are through a gaming console, such as a PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch, or via a personal device, including a smartphone or tablet.

When playing on a console, their gaming experience will be more enjoyable with wireless controllers, a headset, and a gaming chair. When using a personal computer, a gaming monitor, which you can usually find online at massive discounts, will help them see every detail. 

Regardless of which system they choose, you’ll also need a fast internet connection. Since games rely on your internet speed, fiber-optic service is ideal, if available in your area. This is especially true when they connect on multiplayer platforms (think: Fortnite) so that they can both stream and talk without waiting on buffering or lagging downloads.

Safety First

Once you have your children set up for fun, you’ll also want to take steps to prevent online dangers. These include things like cyberbullying, privacy violations, unwanted communication, and cam hacking.

Explain these dangers to your children using age-appropriate words and descriptions. You can reduce their exposure to negativity by closely monitoring who they are connected to at all times. Make sure that your children fully understand that they are never to give out their name, phone number, or address to anyone online, even if they believe it to be a family friend.

Most games allow you to turn off in-game chat. Common Sense Media’s online tutorial covers the Nintendo Switch parental controls, but the process will be similar, regardless of the game system. Something else that’s crucial to remember as a parent is that it is perfectly okay to read through your teenager’s private conversations, whether via text or through an online gaming platform. Doing so may help you identify language or behaviors that may put your child at risk.

Tips For Parents:

  • Limit your child’s videogame time to no more than two hours each day.
  • When in their bedroom, make it a rule that their door must be open while they are connected.
  • Learn all about ESRB ratings, which range from early childhood to adults only appropriateness.
  • Play with your kids so that you become familiar with their favorite games and can recognize when something is off.
  • Communicate with parents of other children that play online with your child.
  • Remember, you are the parent and can remove or restrict their access at any time.
  • Maintain an open dialogue about online safety. The more kids know, the more equipped they will be to keep themselves safe when you cannot.

Growing up, our videogames were done with six-foot cords sitting next to each other on the living room floor. Things are not the same for our own children. They have more opportunities than ever to play with their friends both near and far, but dangers are around every corner. The above advice can help you maintain a safe and enjoyable experience for children of all ages.

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