As children grow and develop different interests, they might just get into console gaming, mobile gaming, or even watching other kids play games on Youtube. Kids have been known to be drawn to video games since the dawn of gaming existence. I know, I was a child of the '80's Nintendo gaming console! We know that sometimes games get a bad rap but to be fair, there are some benefits to letting kids play (or watch other kids play) video games. As a parent, it's up to us to make sure they adopt healthy gaming habits and not get too much screen time.

Most parents want to be able to monitor/check up on how much the kids have been playing and what games they've been playing. It's just our way of keeping them safe and making sure that they aren’t overdoing it (or doing something they shouldn't).

Here are some great parenting hacks to keep in mind while you're keeping an eye on the kids gaming:

Don’t Let Them Keep Consoles in Their Rooms

As tempting as it would seem, it's not a good idea to give young kids TVs or consoles in their private bedrooms. This gives them more access to do what you don't want them to do and more time to be spent ignoring the real world. You have more control of the time they spend on consoles by putting it in a common area like the living room. So, not allowing a console in the bedrooms could work out for everyone.

Let Them Play on Your Devices

Little Johnny is only five, he doesn't need his very own iPod or iPhone. When we first introduced our kids to gaming devices we let them use ours, just make sure you have them in a secure case. You can monitor what they are playing and how long they are playing for. You could even download a couple of games onto your devices for them to play, like Final Fantasy 15 or Angry Birds. This is a good way of keeping up with your little ones in the gaming world.

Gain access to their consoles/PCs

As parents, we are responsible for anything our kids do online, including in the gaming world. As you know, anything they have to sign up for requires a password and in our house, the passwords (even ones to access devices) are either created by mom or dad and they are always written in a special "password book" we have access to. For our teen, we came to an agreement for safety purposes. This is a great way of keeping tabs on what they're doing online and what they are downloading as games.

Take them out and buy the games/let them choose apps they want

One of the best ways of monitoring the sorts of games they are playing is to take them out and buy them the games yourself or let them choose which games from the app store that they'd like if they are downloads. It's less tempting for them to browse and download things they shouldn't unsupervised since you already got them the games they really wanted!

It's important to know what's going on in your kids’ lives and with the ever-growing online gaming world, it's worth it to check in from time to time. There's nothing wrong with taking an interest in your child's life, no matter what age. That's what our job is as parents. We are sure you can come up with your own ideas that work for you and your family to keep an eye on your kids’ gaming but feel free to use these hacks as a starting point!

Happy gaming everyone!

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