Many parents and caregivers worry about how often and how long their child spends playing video games. They may see gaming as having a negative impact on their child’s mental health or behaviour and as playing a role in broader problems their child and family are facing.
However, children’s participation in gaming can also provide many options for therapists to support their mental health and wellbeing. So, what understandings and approaches can support practitioners to work effectively with children and caregivers in response to these concerns?
In this episode, we talk with Nikki Taranis about working with children and caregivers to explore children’s relationship with video gaming. Nikki was most recently a team leader with the Australian Childhood Foundation, and draws on her experience as a social worker, therapeutic specialist, and supervisor, as well as her own interest in gaming. She discusses the key understandings and approaches for working with children and caregivers in relation to video gaming.
In this episode you will learn:
- what is ‘video gaming’ and how it may come up in conversations with caregivers [02:37]
- the importance of understanding children’s relationship with video gaming [05:52]
- how to help children transfer video gaming skills to other areas of life [15:19]
- how to create conversations about safety [18:04]
- how to promote connection through video gaming [20:17]
Further information and resources:
Pre-teens: Entertainment and technology articles (Raising Children Network)
Online safety resource sheet (Australian Institute of Family Studies)
Parents’ guide to games webpage (Outcyders)
E-safety Commissioner: Gaming webpage (Australian Government)