View Full Version : Parent's Corner: Purpose and Tips

02-23-2010, 01:22 PM
This is a new board just for us parents of younger kids.

It purpose is about finding alternative games titles for our kids to enjoy, that keep their lives age appropriate. My attitude is: "enjoy being the age you are and don't be in a hurry to be an age you are not. After all, you'll never be that age again so you really have only one chance to enjoy it."

Feel free to post anything related to parenting, gaming for children, pets, houses, yards, fun things to do, whatever...

For those who aren't parents, take a look and prepare yourself for all that is involved, or run away and let us parents figure out this stuff on our own. It's all good.

Hopefully we can share some of the titles and online game experiences our kids have enjoyed during certain ages. I hope we can start threads based on age, like, 'Age 9 Games', etc. and let everyone jump in and add some info on what they liked or know about.

FYI, I don't let my child even see the computer screen while I'm playing fps, not the game lobby, or any images/sounds of what I am doing. It's not that they won't see images I would rather them not, but more about them seeing that I am a bit of a shield to them and letting them know it. I don't think any of our fps games are appropriate for kids under 12 or 13, and some of the games, like MW2, GTA aren't in my mind appropriate for kids under 16 or 17. I just say to my kid 'this is a game I enjoy but it's not for kids' and she accepts that and respects it, even though she'd like to watch and see what's happening.

I also find it a bit shocking that I've seen parents let their 6 year old play COD4. "Come on dude, act like a parent and go outside to toss a ball with them..." and don't make me a party to your distorted sense of appropriateness by having a 6 year old on a server I'm playing on.

It's not that kids wouldn't play 'cowboys and indians' or other 'pretend shooter stuff' and the like, it's that gaming is a virtual battlefield and it is graphically too much for the eyes of someone who hasn't seen enough of the regular stuff of life, especially if they're 6 years old. At 6 a kid is finally standing on their own feet and being able to soak in life around them, but you as a parent still escort them everywhere they go, so you could say because of our need to escort them they haven't the mental capacity to absorb everything they need to know to be safe on their own... keep that in mind when exposing them to 'war' type games.

Finally, if you do expose your kids to fps games, which are very exciting and intense, what are they supposed to do in a couple of years? How can playing Wizard101 be fun if they've already played Modern Warfare 2? So don't be in a rush to connect with your kids with a game you enjoy. Use this board to find alternatives that they'll have a blast with, and, will have a game they can share with their friends. I must admit now that my kid and I are looking for alternative games, there's quite a few out there that are free and they're pretty cool, real virtual worlds they can explore.

02-23-2010, 01:23 PM
Ten Tips for Parents

CHECK game rating and read the description. Rent a game to preview before purchasing. Some major online games have ESRB ratings; others do not. Check out online reviews.

AVOID the “first person shooter,” killographic games. Instead, pick non-lethal games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, run, and kill.

LIMIT game playing time. (Recommendation: no more than one hour per day)

WATCH for warning signs of video game addiction. Stop obsessive playing before it gets out of control. Encourage your child to play with friends “off line” away from the computer.

TALK with your children about griefers and cyberbullying. Establish house rules of “netiquette” and follow through with consequences if rules are broken. Encourage your children to talk to you if they see inappropriate behavior online.

DISCUSS the content of games and explain why you object to certain games. Remember that children also play video and computer games outside of the home. What are the gaming rules at their friends’ homes?

SET clear house rules around Internet and game use and time. Require that homework and chores be done before playing.

DO NOT PUT video games or computers in kids' bedrooms. Place video game consoles and computers where it is easy to monitor.

MEETING online gaming friends requires adult supervision. Your kids may feel quite close to other gamers they meet online. Remind them that these people are still strangers and that it isn’t safe to meet them alone.

DON’T assume that other parents’ judgments on video games will be the same as yours. You may agree on some things, but maybe not here.

Source: http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/missing/i_safety/videogame.htm

02-23-2010, 03:25 PM
Not sure how others look at what it means to be a dad, but for me protecting my family is high on the list. With that in mind, there's no way I'm going to let the door on my home be wide open, or for that matter the door into my computer be wide open. Here's a couple of my own tips:

Computer Access:
I don't let my kid know how to turn on the computer (the password), in order to control when they can play... typically I let them, but it's always better to say, 'hey, you want to play a computer game later on...'

Email Address:
I never let my kid know my email address, so they don't start enabling accounts all over the place for things I don't know about. I have my kid step away from the computer when I input private data.

Browser Limits:
I enable browser blockers to prevent them from accidently going somewhere they shouldn't. You can also get a different browser just for them as there are plenty to choose from.

Free Chat:
My kid, under 12, can't not free chat with anyone online. I make sure that anywhere my kid goes they can't just start typing, or have someone type messages to them. Most sites have a pre-selected list of things they can say which is great.

03-27-2010, 09:15 AM
Good thread you have created here. I myself installed a key logger the other day along with vpn so my uncle can check his daughters and sons activity. Reason why i did this is simple. Way too many weirdo's online and it ultimately it is up to us as responsible parents or older brothers and sisters to look after our loved ones.

03-27-2010, 12:55 PM
last week my wife almost gave my kid an email account thinking she could chat with her cousins, but didn't realize that it also would mean she could sign up for any site anywhere. I explained the situation to her and she understood completely.

But that said, i know it's only a matter of time before me kid figures it out herself. She's extremely quick at learning this computer stuff.