Going Beyond 'Educational' Video Games

“Video games can be very powerful stimulants to children’s brains. That’s why kids often prefer playing video games to playing outdoors or playing a board game,” says the author of The Big Disconnect Catherine Steiner-Adair, who has written about how the digital revolution profoundly impacts childhood and family relationships.

Gaming” by JESHOOTS is licensed under CC by 2.0

As a parent, it is a good idea to take the initiative and say, choose which video game to play with your kids (not necessarily educational). The mere fact that you’ll be playing with them should be enough for the kids to agree to your choice (at least for the time being). While you’re bound to have fun and bond while playing – there’ll be moments of laughing, teasing, fighting or whoops of joy through the game - it is important to not let the child have the upper hand and emerge a winner every time though. They should get the idea that winning and losing is all part and parcel of playing.

Another positive opportunity for parents and kids to communicate freely while playing video games arises as a result of the role reversal factor which is bound to occur. Needless to say, your little one will probably be way better than you at the game. Querying about the nitty-gritties and asking open-ended questions about the game will help your kids don the role of a teacher and open up to you.

The icing on the cake? Speaking from personal experience, some video gaming sessions yield unexpectedly deep conversations with the kids without them realizing it; the game controller in their hands somehow makes it easier for them to converse.

To conclude, author Catherine Steiner-Adair couldn’t have put it better when she said: “If you have a child who loves video games, make sure they maintain their capacity to get pleasure from games that aren’t video games. What you don’t want to have is the magic of the iPad delete the magic of the playground.”


I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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