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10 Rules Parents Should Have for Internet Gaming

April 14, 2012

Kids love to play video games and the internet has an unlimited supply of entertainment for them. It’s pretty easy to imagine that internet gaming can quickly got out of hand without strict parental controls. It takes time for children to develop self control, so without limits, they would want to spend every waking moment playing games if possible. Parents need to take a pro-active approach to their kids and internet gaming. Here are just 10 of the rules parents should have for internet gaming.

  1. Homework and chores first – It’s very easy for kids and adults alike to get caught up in a game and neglect everything else. Parents should have strict rules that there will be no video games until after the homework and chores are done. This gives kids the incentive to do their homework and chores, and then collect their reward.
  2. Time limits – Parents should establish realistic limits for the amount of time their kids spend playing internet games each day. Some of these games can go on for hours and can be very addictive. A good rule would be to give equal time to playing outdoors or engaging in other activities.
  3. Get parental approval – It’s very important that parents screen all internet games before allowing their kids to play them. There needs to be strict enforcement of this rule with strong consequences if they’re caught violating it.
  4. No violent or adult content – Kids need to know that violent and explicit content in internet games will not be tolerated. The pleas of “Ah gee, it’s just a game,” must be ignored. Some of these games are very graphic and tend to desensitize kids to these disturbing images.
  5. No downloading without permission – Many of these internet games come with computer viruses, so don’t allow kids to download anything without permission. This way you can make sure what games are downloaded and that they come from reputable sites.
  6. Don’t give out passwords – It’s crucial that kids know not to ever give out passwords on the internet. Teach them how to come up with secure passwords and what the consequences are of they fall into the wrong hands.
  7. Safe gamer names – Help your kids to come up with safe gamer names that protect their privacy. Use generic terms that don’t indicate age, race, gender or location. Online predators will use the tiniest bit of information to entrap unsuspecting children.
  8. Report bullying – Parents should make sure their kids are aware of online bullying and that it must be reported. Also make sure your kids are not the ones doing the bullying. Some people like to use the anonymity of the internet as license to harass and taunt other players.
  9. Watch for predators – Be sure your kids know about online predators and what to watch for. Younger children should only be allowed to play with other gamers approved by their parents and never allow them to meet online friends unsupervised.
  10. Prohibit gambling – Make sure kids know that online gambling is illegal for kids and is strictly prohibited. This could be extremely dangerous and expensive, especially if they get a hold of your credit card.

When parents work together with their kids they can establish guidelines to protect both themselves and the computer. Parents should play the games with their children to help them learn the rules and teach them how to report abuse or inappropriate behavior. Online games can be both fun and educational, so by having firm rules in place, the internet can be a source of great entertainment for the whole family.

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5 Responses to 10 Rules Parents Should Have for Internet Gaming

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Bianca W. says:

While the internet is obviously a wonderful thing, I HATE how addicted my kids are to it (as I sit here commenting on a blog…) It’s gotten to the point that they fight me when I try to get them to do something other than game – any advice on how to break this addiction?

Anna H. says:

We were kind of in the same boat… what started out as a harmless pasttime morphed into this insane time suck after a while. It was so gradual we didn’t even realize it! We implemented a time rule, telling the kids they could only play for an hour after school and only after chores and homework were done. They HATED it at first, but now they don’t complain!

Emily Hudson says:

Thanks for sharing this Blog. Now a days kids are crazy about internet games but your tips are really helpful for Parents. Keep sharing more useful tips.

brian says:

we always check out the games before letting our kids play them. if they don’t want us to look at them first it’s a red flag.

Justine says:

These are great tips! Thanks for sharing! Luckily, our kids LOVE to be outside way more than they do on the computer, but my brother is struggling with his kids being too wrapped up in computer games and video games, so I know how hard of an issue to tackle this is!