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My husband and I have frequently discussed what we want LG’s media exposure to be as she grows. We both agree we want a low-media child, but we also realize that some media exposure is inevitable (even necessary) in today’s high-tech world. I grew up with very strictly rationed TV and console video game time. I could watch one movie on Saturday morning or have an equivalent amount of other screen time. Computer games like Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? were allowed at other times during the week in moderation. My husband grew up in a very high-media household, so he thinks being overly restrictive would backfire. Either way, we agree that LG is still too young for screens. We get to kick that can down the road a bit longer! My husband argues that all video games can be beneficial, in moderation, so today I’m sharing some of the lessons you learn from the video games your child plays.
Lessons you Learn from the Video Games your Child Plays
Have you ever thought about watching your children while they play their video games? There are a huge number of online games available today and you can learn a lot by watching your children play. So, next time you get a little bit of spare time you should take the opportunity to watch your kids play video games. You may find that you can learn something useful about your kids!
Lesson 1: Hard work
Most video games revolve around the concept of ‘levelling up’. This simply means that once your child completes one level they will then move onto a more difficult level. Early levels are easier, but they’ll come to a point where it’s tough and takes longer to level up. (If you’ve ever played an MMO or RPG you know exactly what I’m talking about! Just think about the points required to level up in WoW as the levels get higher.) Your child then has to use determination and hard work in order to succeed and move onto the next level. You see the commitment your child can put in. Perhaps this is something that they could then use in other aspects of their life?
Lesson 2: Who is your child?
You also note the way that they use their mind in order to try different means and methods of defeating the challenges faced in the level. You get to learn about how your child’s brain works and also about how they react to failure too. After all, we all have different approaches to puzzles and problems. The insight into your child’s personality is huge and you can use this in order to form a greater bond too. By simply taking note of the type of games your kid enjoys playing, from Japan anime games to classic cartoon games, you get a glimpse into their character. It is like fitting together all of the pieces of a puzzle.
Lesson 3: Reading level
You can learn a lot about the level of your child’s reading ability by watching them play online games. You may be shocked to see the amount of reading that is involved in video games. In fact, there are lots of games that contain a build-up story before each level. Furthermore, your child will also need to read in order to figure out the instructions of the game. This means you can rest safe in the knowledge that their reading skills are being enhanced and you can also learn about where they are at present too. You can pick up on other important skills too by observing your child. For example, how are their eye to hand coordination skills? My husband credits Grand Theft Auto with teaching him how to drive…but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. If your child is too young to be truly reading yet, stop by my post on the best chewable books for babies and toddlers to get them headed in the right direction!
Lesson 4: Map reading
There are lots of games that require your children to read maps. This is because lots of kids’ games are revolved around adventure. Therefore, you can learn about whether your child is competent in map reading or not. If you are yet to teach them about this then you will also be able to discover how quickly they can pick things up via their own means.
Lesson 5: Emotions
You can learn a lot about how emotional your child is and how they deal with their emotions. You will see the level of jubilation felt when completing a level and alternatively how frustrated they feel when they do not complete a level. This allows you to determine how your child channels their emotions. This is very important for developmental purposes. If your child gets frustrated and angry easily, this is something you can work on with them.
Although it’s super tempting to just hand your kid a screen when you have to get something done, try to find the time to watch them play their favorite video games. You will be surprised by how much you can learn about your little one by observing the types of video games they play and their attitude while doing so. Plus, while video games may have a bit of a bad reputation, you may find that they can be beneficial, in moderation. I just don’t know about teaching our baby to drive with GTA like my husband wants. 😉
Natasha Núńez is a former classroom teacher with a Masters of the Arts in Teaching. She also is a registered yoga teacher & holds a certificate in natural skincare formulation from the School of Natural Skincare. She shares her passion for education, positive parenting, free printables, and recipes for DIY bath & home products. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.