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girls video gamesOkay, picture a kid playing video games. Bet that imaginary gamer in your mind is a boy, right? Video games and guys so often go hand in hand -- or controller in hand, to be more precise -- that we sometimes forget all about the females out there who love to play, too. But guess what? Not only should we remember that girls like video games, we should actually encourage girls to play them. Seriously! Studies show that girls between the ages of 11 and 16 benefit from playing video games in a whole bunch of ways, including better behavior, a closer connection to family, and a greater sense of mental well-being.

Who knew? Of course, there is a catch (or two). Any old video game played any which way won't do the trick. If you want your girl to reap the positive rewards of video games, keep these tips in mind:

1. Games should be age-appropriate. Meaning, nothing crazy-violent. The good news? Girls show less interest in those types of games anyway.

2. Games should be played WITH a parent. Video games are an especially effective way for dads and daughters to bond, it turns out.

3. Don't go overboard. Stick to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations regarding screen time: Two hours a day max. (Not a bad rule of thumb for parents, either!)

Everything in moderation, right? Guess girls really do just wanna have fun.

Do you play video games with your daughter?

 

Image via Rodrigo Della Favera/Flickr