Do Video Games Have a Bad or Good Influence On Children?

Many parents discourage their children from playing video games because they believe that they are a waste of time. Video games have been blamed for violent behavior in today’s youth. As with anything that you do in life, there are pros and there are cons. Video games are both good and bad for children. Weighing the pros and cons of video games is the best way to determine if you should allow your child to play them or not.

The Advantages of Playing Video Games

Playing video games is a brain workout. A lot of modern day games require cognitive skills that are rarely taught in a classroom setting. Children that play video games will enhance mental skills that they could not enhance otherwise. Video games such as Minecraft teach children to follow directions, hand-eye coordination, and how to respond to challenges.

To successfully complete a game, a player must follow verbal and nonverbal cues given by the game. This teaches children to follow directions the first time that they are given. Video games require children to focus on the game and the buttons that they press on their paddles while playing the game. The constant back and forth encourages hand-eye coordination.

Some video games can be extremely challenging. They can take weeks and in some cases months to complete. Playing video games teaches children how to respond to challenges, and research solutions to the challenge that has been placed upon them.

The Disadvantages of Playing Video Games

If video games are great, it begs one to question why any parent would not want their child playing them. There are some disadvantages to playing video games that some parents believe outweigh the advantages. Video games have been linked to violent behavior, obesity, and isolation.

Violent behaviors stem when parents allow their children to play violent games. The mind of a child is delicate. They will mimic the behaviors of what they see. To avoid a child acting out in aggression because of a game, parents should monitor the video games that they allow their children to play.

Obesity affects one third of children ages eight to eighteen. Obesity is linked to inactivity and poor nutritional choices. Most video games encourage children to sit down and engage in game play. Some children will become wrapped up in the game that they do not take the time to go out and play with friends. Inactivity can have adverse health effects on children.

While there are a lot of video games that are intended for two or more players, a lot of kids choose to play by themselves. This could cause a child to develop anti-social behaviors. If a child dedicates too much of their time to playing a video game, and not enough time being a kid, their parent needs to step in.

The Final Verdict

Video games can be beneficial to children, if they are used correctly. Parents should monitor the video games that their children are playing to ensure that they are not violent. There are lots of educational games that are available that children can play. It is important that parents allow their children to be kids, and interact with others, while still learning vital skills they need for life. Many parents discourage their children from playing video games because they believe that they are a waste of time. Video games have been blamed for violent behavior in today’s youth. As with anything that you do in life, there are pros and there are cons. Video games are both good and bad for children. Weighing the pros and cons of video games is the best way to determine if you should allow your child to play them or not.