Teens often want to talk about their interests—do you listen?

Rachael Ward writes about her experience growing up and playing video games, and wanting desperately to share with her parents. Rachael’s story illustrates how frightening it can be for some teens to open up. “I wanted to try and talk to them about it today, but they were either way too busy or just didn’t get what I was saying. Would they even understand where I’m coming from?” she writes, in the guise of her 15-year-old self.

Now she is an adult and is considering going into game design. After years of doubt, Rachael has reached a place of understanding with her parents. “All we needed was some common ground,” she says.

If you want to connect with a game-loving teen, Rachael has some advice for you. First, play games! You might be surprised how much you enjoy some of them, while others might not be to your taste. But, “you’ll make more informed decisions if you become more familiar with them.”

Above all, talk to your kids about games. “Even if you still don’t quite get it, your kids may very well enjoy explaining what means so much to them,” Rachael says. “Ask questions about games that concern you. It’s important to talk about these sensitive topics, because it leads to more shared understanding.”

I’m 23 and I still want to ramble at my parents about the games I play. Next time a game catches your eye, start a conversation about it!

(Source: Common Sense Media)

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.