Video games can strengthen your child’s cognitive skills. They can improve your child’s capacity to think in three-dimensional ways. Video games have a range of benefits for your child. Playing simple games can improve your child’s mood, promote relaxation, and reduce anxiety.
Baby Care Toddler Games
Playing video games is a popular activity people do in their free time. However, video games can have major effects on health. People debate whether these effects are good or bad. Video games can improve children’s learning, health, and social skills.
Both children and adults enjoy playing video games. There’s research that shows there’s a benefit to playing video games. There’s also research that implies video games could lead to disrupted sleep, media addiction, and violent behavior.
If your child is showing concerning behavior, you may need to step in. These may include irritability when not playing their game or they’re showing increasing aggression. Even if this behavior occurs, there are steps you can take to regulate violent media intake.
How Safe Are Video Games?
Video games are relatively safe for your child to play. Despite previous research suggesting the dangers of video games, there are ways to protect your child. You can prevent potential harm from a video game by monitoring and limiting what they’re playing. Talk to your child about staying safe online.
Building a trusting relationship will make your child want to talk to you. They’ll be more inclined to let you know how they are feeling about life. This can help you notice if they are struggling and need help. There are three parts to consider before you worry about your child and violent video games: their personality, the situation they’re in, and their motivation behind playing video games. These play a part in how they react to violence on screen.
Symptoms of Video Game Aggression in Children
Video games are not the sole reason for a child becoming aggressive. Other factors make a child aggressive. However, in rare cases, your child may become addicted to video games. This could make them irritable, have hallucinations, experience physical pain, and be at risk for being overweight. Luckily, research shows that many of these problems can be resolved by limiting or suspending video game play.
Benefits of Playing Video Games
Video games are good for helping children develop problem-solving skills. They aren’t lazy as previous research has suggested. Video games can strengthen your child’s cognitive skills. They can improve your child’s capacity to think in three-dimensional ways.
Video games have a range of benefits for your child. Playing simple games can improve your child’s mood, promote relaxation, and reduce anxiety. Children can also build emotional resilience by learning to cope with losing in video games.
Socialization is another benefit of video games. In a digital world, this is how your child can connect with their friends and release stress. Playing online can connect your child with kids their age that have the same interests.
Best Games for Children
If your child wants to play video games, there are better options than some. While violent video games don’t necessarily contribute to actual violence, they might not be productive. The following types of games can engage your child’s mind and help them socialize:
- Role-playing games
- Simple games
- Multiplayer online games
- Some shooter games
- Strategic games
Tips for Safe Game Play in Children
These tips will help you monitor your child’s video game play and help you set boundaries with them.
Limit screen time. If your child’s gaming console is in their room, you may not know how much time they spend on it. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than two hours of screen time. Keeping your child’s console in another room can help you monitor their time easier.
Know what they’re playing. Stay informed about the games your child’s playing. While it’s unclear if violent video games make kids violent, you might want to restrict violent or inappropriate video games.
Look for concerning behavior. If you notice your child is always tired, irritable, or not doing well in school you should talk to them about what’s going on. Approach them with a kind and helpful demeanor.
Play together. Sitting down and playing games with your children is a great way to bond. You also get to see what they’re playing. Games are great for socializing and connecting with others. Make a point to understand their game and what they like. Then they’ll be more open to talking about issues they have.
If your child is showing sedentary or erratic behavior, it might be time to put a pause on gameplay. However, video games in moderation are a safe way for your child to learn many skills and productive behavior.
How to Play Video Games With a Newborn Baby
5 Rules of gaming with a newborn
This is my first time posting here so be gentle.
For context, I have three children (6,4,2) and would play video games with my brother nearly every night when they were newborns. I used to live across the country and this is how we stayed connected.
My brother just had his first child and this morning asking for my advice on playing video games with a newborn. I wrote out my 5 rules of gaming with a newborn and sent it to him. He thought they were really informative and suggested I share it with you all. So if there’s any new Dads out there, hopefully this will help.
So here are my 5 Rules of Gaming With A Newborn
Rule 1: the child is always more important
- a boss has a few hit points left, but baby is starting to cry. Put controller down and focus on baby.
Rule 2: a game is just that, a game.
-It can be played over, but the experiences of your baby cannot.
(Steps 1 & 2 will show your wife where your priorities lie. This are fundamental foundations that must be built. In return your wife will see the dedication you have toward the child and will find comfort knowing when you are playing video games your main focus is still your child.)
warning if you prioritize a game over your child just once, it will draw unwanted aggro that will take days, or even months, to shake off.
Rule 3: while playing, offer to help with the baby, even if your wife clearly has everything under control
- for bonus reputation, if she says she has everything under control still put down the game and go over to help her. Even grabbing a diaper in this context goes a long way to building up reputation with the Mother faction.
- for x2 faction rep, make sure your wife can see your game, and let your character die as you instead choose to help her and the baby
Rule 4: play when the baby is asleep
- as you build reputation with the Mother faction you’ll be able to play when she’s awake because your wife will know you’ll put it down when she needs you. With xp you’ll be able to anticipate the need ahead of time and avoid her having to constantly ask for you.
Rule 5: clean up
- once baby is asleep, help clean up the area and get things ready for when she wakes up. Do this before hopping on a game. This will help drastically reduce the aggro that naturally comes with reaching for the controller or mouse.
These are my 5 foundational rules for playing video games with a newborn. Every Mother faction is different. So exercise these rules and alter/add where necessary for your faction.
Here’s one of the more bizarre and pressurising fictions of motherhood: the second you give birth, everything in your previous life instantly becomes meaningless. You might have spent 30 years enjoying skiing or novels or, you know, a career, but as soon as you’re someone’s mummy you become singularly devoted to parenthood forever. If you do have any spare time in between tending to the ceaseless needs of your infant you’re supposed to spend it either baking or aggressively researching local schools.
Oddly enough, we don’t expect dads to give up all their hobbies and redirect their energies into sewing bunting or father-baby yoga. Mums shouldn’t have to either. In the first few months after having a baby, I was desperate to retain some sense of personhood amongst all the feeding and nappy-changing and not-sleeping and marvelling at my son’s tiny hands. But a lot of the things I really enjoy – travel, reading things longer than five paragraphs, drinking more than one glass of wine a night – truly are off the table for a while, as they are wildly impractical. During the first three months of my son’s life, playing video games was one of the only things I could realistically do for myself. They are relatively cheap and you don’t have to spend two hours trying to leave the house.
It’s hard to find the time, though, and this is about the only area of parenting where a cursory Google didn’t throw up 50 articles giving me totally conflicting advice on what I should be doing. So I thought I’d fill that gap. You’re welcome.
Pick the right type of game
Say goodbye to online multiplayer games. Just accept that you are not going to be doing any four-hour Destiny raids at any point in the next year. Anything that requires you to turn up at a certain place, at a certain time, is out (FYI: this also applies to real life appointments).
Any game you play now will need a pause button, and must not overly tax your tired brain. I found games with gentle, predictable rhythms extremely comforting, so I spent a lot of time with the fantasy farming game Stardew Valley in the middle of the night. I also rediscovered the space ship sim Faster Than Light on my iPad, and enjoyed zoning out with Amplitude, a trippy music game that I’d already spent about 100 hours mastering and could therefore play on autopilot. Forza Horizon 3 was perfect: colourful, transporting, brain-optional. Don’t pick games where you have to make an effort to follow a story or remember what you were doing last time you played, as it might be days or weeks between play sessions – and your memory is now shot. (Actually, time itself will lose all meaning, so even if it’s only been a couple of days since you last played, it will feel like weeks.)
Anything even slightly stressful, emotional or difficult might make you cry, so leave the competitive shooters and Dark Souls runs for a while. Now is also not the time to start playing The Last of Us or Heavy Rain because you’ve always meant to but have never found the time. These are games about the pain of losing a child, and you will be discovered blubbing in front of the television. Stick with strategy and puzzles and role-playing and racing and other low-conflict games until the early weeks hormonal exhaustion madness passes.
Make the most of naptime
Tiny babies are always sleeping, and yet paradoxically it feels like they never sleep, because they sleep for like 40 minutes every hour or two and don’t care about concepts like “night”. One of the stupidest pieces of advice I was given when I was pregnant was “sleep when the baby sleeps”, as if you could just lie down, close your eyes and drop off for random spells of time at unpredictable intervals throughout the day and night. THAT DOES NOT COUNT AS SLEEP.
Anyway, the random 20-to-60-minute naps that constitute “sleep” for a tiny baby may not be enough to allow you any actual rest, but it is enough time to play a decent chunk of a video game. You can at least do something enjoyable while your baby snoozes, rather than staring at the walls or repeatedly Googling “when do babies sleep through the night” on your phone. If you’ve got a newborn who prefers sleeping in your arms or on your lap to sleeping in a crib (which, in my experience, is all newborns), you can hold a controller in that position rather than making futile attempts to deposit them in a cot without waking them.
Naptime becomes sacred when the baby gets a little older. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out around the time that my baby started sleeping a bit more like a person (ie, for more than half an hour at a time, sometimes in a cot, and mostly at night). Entirely coincidentally, this was also when I started being very enthusiastic about nap schedules. Choose games that, like Breath of the Wild, let you achieve and save little milestones within short bursts of play.
The bouncer fob-off
I feel guilty whenever my baby is awake and I am doing anything other than talking to him or waving brightly-coloured objects in his general direction. Ridiculously, I felt this way even when he was three weeks old and barely conscious. My partner would happily just stick him in the bouncer and bounce him with a foot while staring at his laptop, but I couldn’t bring myself to do this, so I came up with a compromise: I’d play a game while he was in the bouncer and narrate to him what was going on. Final Fantasy XV was brilliant for this. God I hope his first word is not “chocobo”.
Note: the baby got wise to this tactic after about 12 weeks. Take advantage while you still can.
Embrace portable games
Here’s one of the benefits of breastfeeding that they don’t tell you in the endless prenatal lectures about it: learn to do it lying down and you’ve got your hands free for a 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita or smartphone. If you, like me, thought you were too good for phone games, now is the time to leave your pride at the door. There are brilliant games on iPhone and Android, and most of them fit well into the six-minute intervals between putting baby down in a crib and baby waking up screaming. I thought I’d do some “research” on child-friendly phone games and ended up playing Toca Hair Salon 3 for many, many hours.
Incidentally, when you’re a parent, a portable games console that you can also play on your TV on the one night a week that your baby goes to sleep before 10pm seems like the best idea in the world. If there’s room in the maternity-leave budget for a Nintendo Switch I highly recommend it. It’s bloody expensive but if you have Breath of the Wild (have I already mentioned it?) you won’t need any other games for basically the whole year.
Don’t feel guilty
Everything in early parenthood seems engineered to induce guilt. According to the advice of your health visitor/mother-in-law/the internet, pretty much everything you do is wrong. I read an article that told me not to use bubble-bath in case the smell confused my breastfed baby. I think I actually shouted “you’re taking away my bath products now?” at my phone when I read it.
If I may descend into cliche for a sentence, the first few months with a new baby are amazing in countless ways, but it’s also a hell of a tough time. You’re dealing with physical recovery, withdrawal symptoms from the pregnancy hormone drug-cocktail, very little sleep and of course the demanding minute-to-minute labour of looking after a tiny person, not to mention adjusting to a whole new life. It is extremely important to find time for yourself, and not everyone’s into pedicures. You’ve had a baby, but you haven’t had a personality transplant. For God’s sake don’t beat yourself up over playing some video games.