Games are frequently a child’s introduction to technology and often they can’t get enough! As parents we need to keep up-to-date on how to protect our kids and keep them safe while they have fun.
Three Steps for Parents:
- Understand the capabilities of gaming devices and how you as a parent can support your child to be smart and safe in their gaming. To help you here are some FAQs. If you are about to buy a gaming device, you can ask these questions at the shop.
- Find out about the parental controls available - it helps if you are the one to set up the gaming device so you are in control of these. Gaming devices have parental controls to help parents manage their children’s gaming, for example, to prevent internet browsing or restrict access to age-restricted games.
- Talk with your child about safe and responsible gaming and agree on a set of family rules. Perhaps you could agree on rules with your child about how long they are allowed to play for, how they should behave towards other gamers and agree on rules about not meeting up with people they have only met online. See this Family Agreement for more ideas. Remember that gaming devices like the Xbox 360, Wii and PSP connect to the internet, so the same advice and rules for keeping safe online apply.
The UK Safer Internet Centre website, which provided the above tips, is full of e-safety advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet. Such a great resource for families!