Why I Let My Kids Play Video Games

playing video gamesAll kinds of things are blamed on video games. From school shootings to kids saying curse words, I've heard it all. But I will tell you this: I ENCOURAGE my kids to play video games. You might be surprised to hear why.

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Sure, I get a few minutes of quiet time when they're zoned out (and that doesn't happen much with five kids), but that has nothing to do with it. 

Keep in mind, none of this is scientifically backed or anything (at least as far as I know) -- just my observations of my kids who played video games when they were young compared with the ones who didn't.

  • It's good for their development: The kids who played video games when they were younger seemed to have better hand-eye coordination as they got older. I'd attribute it to all of the time they spent pressing buttons and trying to get the right thing to happen on the screen. 
  • It teaches independence: We have a rule about video games in our house. If you can't figure out how to play it without asking for help every 10 seconds, you don't get to play. That applies to reading the prompts or instructions as well. Sure, some of the first words my kids learned to read were 'start,' 'pause,' and 'play' and the first letters they learned were A, B, X, and Y, but you gotta start somewhere, right? 
  • It promotes teamwork: My kids range in age from 11 years to 8 months. There is constantly commotion in my house. Nobody can work together on cleaning up messes -- or anything else -- but you bet your butt that there is total peace when everyone is working together to kill some zombies. It's just about the only time they work together. Even Lily, the baby, gets all excited and starts kicking her feet in her chair when everybody else gets all excited!
  • It helps them develop overall problem solving skills: That's what video games are all about after all.

They haven't killed anyone (yet), and they don't do drugs or have sex with hookers. They have, however, started a collection of bottle caps so that -- in the event of an apocalypse -- we have a savings fund already started up. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Do your kids play video games? What have they gotten from it? 

 

Images © iStock.com/webphotographeer; via Heather Reese

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