Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dad, it’s okay to play video games – just include your daughter!

It’s a cause to celebrate! Especially for dad’s who still play or want to play video games.  After years of research indicating that video gaming has negative influence on an individual, Brigham Young University researchers have found a positive in video gaming.  It is a daddy-daughter thing.

In a study of boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 16, the researchers found that girls who played with a parent had positive outcomes.  The girls that played with a parent overall behaved better, felt a greater connection to family, had stronger resiliency, and less likely to be depressed or anxious. These positive outcomes were only seen when playing age appropriate games.

The amount of co-playing time with a parent is relatively the same between boys and girls. However, boys tend to play more video games overall than girls. The boys showed no difference in positive outcomes with our without a parent playing with them.

What’s interesting is the games youth will play with their parents. Girls most often played Mario Kart, Mario Brothers, Wii Sports, Rock Band and Guitar Hero. For boys it was Call of Duty, Wii Sports, and Halo 1, 2, and 3. It may be the type of games that are being played that are influencing the outcomes, but that is uncertain.

What does this mean for parents and their sons? Watch the amount of time that your child is playing video games for.  This includes the iPod, iPhone, gaming console, computer, other hand held games and so on.  It seems more that the potential “positive” outcomes of video game playing are being diluted in the quantity of time spent playing.  As the saying goes, it is about quality not quantity.

What does this mean for parents and their daughters? Keep playing video games with them. Do not lose this modern connection to your child. Also, do be aware of time spent playing games.

Parents you should start brushing up on your virtual sports and music playing skills.  Make the time to play games with them, and make them age appropriate.  You can do it as a family activity.  Take the time to gather everyone together and play Rock Band or Wii Sports.  This is the perfect activity to do as a family while the weather is cold outside. 

Now you have an excuse to play video games knowing these potential positive outcomes. So, dads, when you turn on the console, include your daughter.

Have you or will you be playing video games with your children?

Written by:
Josh Lockhart Locking Hearts Together

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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