To promote Media Nest, a new website for parents about media education launched on September 20, 2016 and to celebrate the exciting new video games programme Boeva & the games (from Mondays to Thursdays at 17h30 on Ketnet), Ketnet and Mediawijs joined forces to organise an interesting debate on gaming and children.
Comedian William Boeva moderated the debate featuring several experts: our very own David Verbruggen (video expert at FLEGA), Heleen Mesellem (coordinator at Linc vzw), Jeroen Bourgonjon (President of Digra Flanders), Huub Boonen (addiction therapist at CAD-Limburg) and Telidja Klai (developmental psychologist at Ketnet). The debate was broadcast live on the Facebook page of Ketnet and resulted in some interesting insights and the following nine tips for parents with kids that are into gaming.
- Talk to your kid about gaming, show some interest.
- Play a game together.
- Set some clear rules in advance about when, where, with whom and which games can be played.
- Agree with your kid on when it can play and for how long. It can help to have some fixed gaming time e.g. right after dinner. You can make different arrangements for school days, weekends, holidays …
- Assist your kid in finding a healthy balance between games and other activities.
- Does your child play online as well? Teach your child to give out as little information as possible. Your child should also be aware that a password is not to be shared.
- Is your child upset when it should stop gaming? Announce the stopping moment in advance. It’s best to look for a natural stopping point, for example at the end of a level/checkpoint. This way your child can finish its game and won’t be frustrated.
- Don’t know which games are appropriate? Check the PEGI (Pan European Game Information) rating on the box, play a demo, watch a trailer. Be involved.
- When other kids come over to play, talk to their parents about which games they are allowed to play and for how long. This will avoid possible friction later on.
Did you find these tips useful? Then be sure to check out the Media Nest website.
Media Nest is an initiative of Mediawijs, the Flemish Centre for Media Literacy, supported by the Minister of Media of the Flemish Government.