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“Just this one more round!” – Games in the family

2 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Bildquelle: unsplash.com/Igor Karimov

“I’ll stop right now – really!” Do you know this phrase from your child? Then it is certainly a big fan of computer or console games. Digital games are a popular leisure activity for many children and young people, where they can use and train their playful skills. But they also lead to conflicts when, for example, games want to be played that are not suitable for the age or are played for longer than agreed.

Computer games can promote certain competencies at different stages of life. For example, game apps can help preschoolers learn to use numbers and language. Older children and teenagers can use games to improve their problem-solving skills.

Tips for dealing with computer games in the family

We have summarized the most important recommendations for you to avoid conflicts around gaming in the family.

Understanding fascination and showing interest

Let them show you how a game works and what excites your child about it. You won’t always be able to relate to the fascination, but take your child’s enthusiasm seriously anyway. Remember to also have them show you game apps that run on the smartphone.
Watch your child play and ask about it. This way you can tell if it can tell reality from fiction and if it understands the content presented.
Play together sometimes too!

Try games and read reviews

Don’t put too much trust in alleged customer reviews on online portals, as you can’t be sure if they are genuine. Better rely on reputable educational assessments and your own judgment. Try out games and decide if a game is suitable for your child with the help of educational ratings and USK classifications.

A link list with pedagogical evaluations of computer games can be found at Spieleratgeber NRW or spielbar.de.

Agree rules

Set times together when playing is allowed or agree on how much time a week your child can spend playing computer games. The length of play should be based on your experience with your own child. There are recommendations for different age groups, which you can read here.

What doesn’t work at all in gambling is to stop at a certain point. It is better if you agree to stop at the end of a level.
All rules should be easy for your child to understand.

More practical, clear tips are also available at Klicksafe.

Alternatives to gambling

Every child needs times when they can move around and experience things independently of the screen – the best way to do this is together with you!

Games are not leverage

You should not forbid playing because the child messed up or use playing as a reward. Because that only gives it a higher status.

Games – whether on the computer or elsewhere – are entertaining and fun for children, teenagers and adults alike. Hopefully, with our recommendations you will find a good way to deal with computer games in the family.

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