How do gamer parents deal with their teenage kids? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
My kid is eleven, but don't tell him that.
My husband and I are both gamers. Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Call of Duty, Bayonetta, Super Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, text-based MUDs ... you name it, someone here has probably played the heck out of it.
Our kid has grown up thinking his parents are absolutely amazing, mostly because we have the same interests an eleven year old boy would have. While this sounds juvenile and obvious, it's had some pretty great side effects:
- We have a fantastic relationship with our kid. He wants to hang out with us, even if it's not gaming related. He is a huge advocate of family time, whether it's gaming, eating, reading, or whatever else. That kid adores his family.
- We know what our kid is up to, because we're up to the same thing. We have a solid knowledge of which games are and are not appropriate, and which ones we need to lock down because of verbally abusive online players. That child can't hide from us. My husband seconds this one.
- I asked my son, and he loves knowing that we know what he's talking about so we can have actual conversations that aren't one-sided. Plus one for shared interests.
- None of us are into sports. We tried, we really truly did. It's just not our thing. So we're fairly unencumbered by overwhelming sports schedules and bad weather affecting our hobbies. He just started band, so that's on the horizon (and honestly looks like will be a lot of fun), but it can't be worse than the sports thing. For the most part our favorite hobby is safe and comfortable.
- My son's hand-eye coordination and aptitude for problem solving and strategy is through the roof. I don't know if he's good at games because of an aptitude for puzzles, or vice versa. But studies show gaming to have a positive effect on these traits, so there's that.
- Gaming has taught him how to collaborate and problem solve with friends. Mostly because if they don't play nice, the games get turned off, so this lot learned to play nice very quickly.
There are a couple of drawbacks. Getting outside takes a lot of prodding and cajoling, and we have to make sure he gets face to face time with friends instead of being on his DS all day. Other than that, it's been a fun journey bringing up our little gamer boy so far.
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