Why Parents Should Be Playing Games With Kids

Posted by | July 27, 2015 | Opinion | 2 Comments
playing games with kids

This article originally appeared on LearningWorksForKids.com, a site dedicated to talking about games and technology in relation to “alternative learners,” which includes kids with learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. We’re excited to have a relationship with LearningWorks For Kids where we will be cross-posting articles and supporting each other in emphasizing the positive aspects of gaming and technology.

A very cogent argument can be made that 21st-century adults are overly involved in the lives of their children, resulting in kids losing  opportunities for independent thinking and autonomy. Many children are over scheduled by their parents, given too much homework by their teachers, and restricted in exploring their world by cultural expectations and concerns about safety and free play. Helicopter parents are common, and children are fettered by unrealistic concerns about safety while outdoors or in the community. As a result, many children spend far too much time indoors, in front of screens, and isolated from their friends except via their electronics. However, at the same time, I argue that parents should play video games and watch TV with their kids.

Interestingly, as over-involved as many parents are in their children’s lives outside of the home, they are often uninvolved in their child’s digital life. Two-thirds of parents never play a video game with their kids. Many of them have no idea about the type of social media that their children use or what they are doing on the Internet. The majority of parents feel as if they know too little about video games and social media even to have a conversation with their children about these topics.

Given the amount of time children are engaged with screen-based technologies, it is imperative that parents, educators, and childcare professionals become active partners in using these technologies with children and ensuring that they are used appropriately. Parents should play video games and watch TV with their children. In order to do so, they need to become more knowledgeable and actively participate in children’s use of all screen-based technologies and digital media.
These articles offer more information on this topic.

Randy Kulman

About Dr. Randy Kulman

Randy Kulman, PhD, is the Founder and President of LearningWorks for Kids, an educational technology company that specializes in using video games to teach executive functioning and academic skills. For the past 25 years, Dr. Kulman has also been the Clinical Director and President of South County Child and Family Consultants, a multidisciplinary group of private practitioners that specializes in assessment and interventions for children with learning disorders and attention difficulties.