Play helps your children build and sharpen various life skills that will benefit them in the future
Videogames are so popular now that the number of players worldwide surpassed 3 billion last year! The development goes beyond gaming consoles and the most recognized gaming platforms, such as PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo, because it comes across PCs and directly into our pockets through our smartphones.
From casual gaming to the rise of esports and professional gaming, it’s clear that gaming is here to stay. While the sedentary time children spend in front of screens as a result remains a major concern for parents, there are also real benefits to play.
How playing videogames can help children learn valuable skills
1. Social skills
As games go online, interaction between players reaches a new level! While only a few years ago, children were excited to go to school to discuss their collections or game achievements, today they play videogames with friends and people from all over the world. In-game chat features allow for real social interaction, building communication and collaboration skills, as well as teaching how to work effectively in a group. And while social relations used to be limited to the school campus, now children can communicate with people from all over the world, discover new realities outside their bubbles, take their first steps to climb learn new languages or learn about different cultural backgrounds.
Several studies examining people’s mood and stress have noted significant improvements from playing video games, compared to resting, surfing the web, or doing a relaxing activity, according to in peer-reviewed. Play for Health Journal. In addition, videogames can provide a sense of accomplishment. Children learn the benefits of accomplishing tasks, the importance of organization and planning, and how learning new skills can lead them to better results and rewards. Parents and caregivers can use play as an analogy for how to learn other subjects and to show why cumulative knowledge builds confidence and prepares a person for the future. .
3. Thinking skills
It’s not out that kids seem glued to the screen when playing. That’s because sports often require intense focus, split-second reactions and quick decision-making, allowing them to detect and react better to changes in their environment. At the same time, remembering images, characters and secret passages, as well as navigating maps, helps improve memory and attention to detail. Similarly, there is evidence that some games, such as Minecraft, are good for encouraging creativity.
4. Problem solving skills
Games are a great way to improve problem solving abilities and learn how to use logic and creativity to create the necessary solutions needed to progress to the next level. For one, the game helps children learn how to break problems into smaller pieces and then work on one piece at a time. This can be a great way to help children develop an understanding of how complex problems can be handled, as well as how to identify situational similarities and use the past. solutions to solve new problems – and may have become “computational thinkers” in the process.
5. Reasoning skills
Understanding how to read data, how different tools work and how to read different metrics are all important skills that help children make sense of the world around them. In today’s data-rich society, learning how to make sense of the wealth of information around us, develop meaningful connections, use good judgment and make compelling arguments will stand your children in good stead. throughout their lives. In fact, astute critical thinking is a fundamental life skill and along with the other skills and abilities listed above will set them on the path to becoming confident and responsible adults. They will thank you later.
Children should only play while under adult supervision
While these are great skills to learn, they aren’t enough to give kids the green light to play whenever and however they want. There are a few things that parents and guardians need to keep in mind — for example, whether a certain game is age-appropriate and, regardless of a child’s age, how the game affects his or her school performance. , sleep, off-screen time use, and behavior.
Here are some rules to help you answer these questions:
- When buying your child a game, check for a PG rating (or equivalent).
- Avoid games with in-app purchases, as these are abusive marketing gimmicks and allow players to skip learning skills based on the game’s advancements just by buy their way to a more advanced level.
- While you can give your children privacy as they grow from teenagers to young adults, enforce playtime only in the common areas of your home. This way, you can monitor their behavior. Remember not to constantly check it – instead, aim to build relationships based on trust and allow yourself to learn and even play the same games.
- Agree in advance on times and duration of play. In this way, children will also learn how to plan their time according to their wishes. And since sports are a social activity, they can catch up with friends.
- Turn off game notifications when it’s not game time and set up parental controls on consoles like PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch, as well as on your kids’ phones.
- Talk about how to stay safe online, what cyberbullying is, the types of scams they encounter and that not everyone they meet online is as kind as they expect.
Play isn’t just for kids!
The benefits and advice around play discussed in this post apply not only to children, but also to adults. Gaming is no longer just a child’s thing, as many millennials have grown up without losing the sense of fun and excitement they get from spending quality time in the game. In fact, playing action video games for a short period of time can improve spatial perception and visual perception in some adults with visual impairments, such as those with so-called ” lazy eye”, and doctors even play games before the operation to improve their techniques. .
So, whatever your age, choose an age-appropriate game, and have fun!
Also, be sure to watch’Hey PUG‘, ESET’s new animated series that teaches children to recognize online threats.