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PARENT HINTS AND TIPS: PARENTING GAMERS

With concerns about escalating screen-time, the impact of violence, unexpected costs and interloping strangers it can be tempting to lock down video games to limit their negative impact. While some sensible boundaries are helpful, they are only a short term solution for how we guide children towards gaming health. Like other areas of childhood, parents and carers can have a powerful steering presence by engaging and participating in the video games their children play. This not only reduces risks because they are aware of the kinds of activities, interactions and costs involved but makes video games a part of family life. Along with building dens, climbing trees, cooking and family walks, playing games with children enables parents to guide the quality of content being played. This may start with sharing the games children are currently playing, understanding why they love it and celebrating successes. But with a little research, this can grow into suggesting other games to play and higher ambitions for what kids get out of playing long-standing favourites.

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