Gaming has become an integral part of many young people’s lives, providing entertainment, social connection and for some even a potential career path. Parents can feel frustrated by their children’s interest in gaming, but recent studies have shown some really interesting positives, including increased attention, memory and problem-solving abilities. But there is a flip side with other studies showing too much time spent using screens can have a negative effect on mental health and wellbeing in the form of increased levels of anxiety, depression and social isolation.
As a parent it can be hard finding the right balance (or even knowing what that is) when it comes to gaming and screen time. In this episode we talk with Nikki Taranis who was recently a team leader with the Australian Childhood Foundation, as she draws on her experience as a social worker and therapeutic specialist, as well as her own interest in gaming.
Content warning: This podcast includes mentions cyberbullying, and sexual and violent internet content. If listening to this podcast brings up any difficult feelings for you, please seek help from your mental health professional or one of these crisis or support services.
In this episode, you will learn:
- what kind of gaming platforms exist and how small children and teenagers can access them [01:00]
- the potential benefits of gaming for children and teenagers [05:15]
- the potential risks associated with gaming and how you can address these risks with your children [07:30]
- how to find the right amount of gaming for you child and what role a parent plays in in promoting healthy gaming habits [11:28]
- strategies to help you set gaming limits with your child [16:50]
- how you can encourage engagement with online gaming communities while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your child [20:00]
- the signs your child may be developing unhealthy gaming habits [23:40]
- ways you can respond to your child if they share with you a negative online experience [25:20]
- how you can educate yourself on the games your child plays [27:20]
Further information and resources: