Are Video Games Bad For Kids? 5 Ways Video Games Are Good For Your Child
So Who Are These People That Say Video Games Are Bad?
There is one thing I see seems to be a common factor between the people who make the claim that video games are bad for our children, age. Typically the people who claim children shouldn't partake in playing video games are the people who grew up in a time where video games didn't exist. These people are unaware of many of the aspects of playing, and simply think that sense they didn't play, children now have no reason to play either.
This post is inspired by the question I heard asking this: " Will video games destroy our teens mind and possibly our future?" Time and time again people seem to have this question. Wondering if somehow video games are the blame for all the world's problems. So lets get to the topic.
Why is Video Gaming Important to Me?
I am a child of the 80's. The year of my birth, 1983, the good ole' grey Nintendo system came out. I played it throughout my childhood. Hours of my childhood belong to Mario and Luigi.
On top of being a child of video games I am a parent to one child with Autism and one child with Aspergers. Yes I lucked up and got two amazing children that both have issues that fall in the Autism spectrum. I was aware that my oldest had aspergers from a young age. My other son however was diagnosed at the age of 7 with late on set autism. Both of my sons thrive and make great progress with video games. They are an important part of their structured learning.
So I guess I have a reason to be a little bit biased about video games. I get to see first hand how they can be a benefit not only for autistic children but also for my healthy daughter. She has seen wonderful improvements in fine motor skills since we started letting her play video games.
What ways are video games good for your child? Are Video Games Good For Children With Autism?
- Video games increase brain volume in multiple parts of the brain. A study, conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, found that at least 30 minutes of gaming each day for a period of two months triggered significant grey matter increases in three areas of the brain: the right hippocampal formation, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the bilateral cerebellum. These regions of the brain are associated with functions such as spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, as well as fine motor skills of the hands. The study went on to say that video gaming may help mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease.
- Video games are good for children with Cerebral palsy and Autism. Researchers at the Bloorview Research Institute in Canada and the Helene Elsass Center and University of Copenhagen in Denmark did a stufy on children with Cerebral Palsy. They found that using video gaming on top of their therapy helped increase balance and improve motor functions. Studies have also been done on autism and aspergers. A study conducted by Drs. Finke and Hickerson showed that "video games contributed to improved social skills, fine motor skills, language skills, reading and writing abilities, and critical thinking abilities in their children with ASD"
- Playing video with your children is good for your relationship. Research shows "Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids.” Elisabeth Hayes (Gee), Delbert & Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy and professor in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, explains that "often parents don’t understand that many video games are meant to be shared and can teach young people about science, literacy and problem solving. Gaming with their children also offers parents countless ways to insert their own ‘teaching moment.’” In short, video games give just another way to connect with our children.
- Video Gaming is good for a child's mental health. Sure blaming video games for mass school shootings has become common, but the facts actually show that video gaming can cure depression in teens who are struggling. In 2012 researchers in New Zealand found that video gaming cured a large amount of their study group's depression. It also showed that video gaming was more effective than one on one counseling.
- Video Gaming can reduce ADHD. According to a study done by The Oxford University showed that "children who play video games for up to an hour a day are less hyperactive, more social and happier than those who don't play at all" This study, which focused on thousands of children, actually showed that children who played video games were better of mentally that children who were not allowed to play video games.
Parenting, EVERYTHING Goes Back to Parenting
Of course allowing your child to sit for hours straight doing ANYTHING is not good for them. That has nothing to do with video gaming itself and has everything to do with lack of parenting. A child doesn't fail simply because they enjoy playing. It is our job as parents to control the type and time of exposure to our children.
So let your children responsibly play video games. Sit down and play some with them. Many studies show adult brains get almost as much of a workout playing video games as a child's mind does. So this could be good for your child, good for you, and good for your relationship.
EVERYONE, Please stop blaming video games for what parents are failing at. Problems with children lie with the parents not a game.