As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals have shifted their focus from face-to-face interactions to virtual ones. The majority of consumers now favor online buying and e-learning, and a growing number of young people, instead of participating in traditional extracurricular activities, spend their time playing video games online. Modern MMORPGs are becoming increasingly popular as a form of entertainment, a means of forming virtual communities for the purpose of collaborating on shared goals, and so on because of the extensive social interaction they facilitate through video, voice, text, etc. Online gaming can be a great way for kids to unwind and have fun, but it also has some serious drawbacks that every parent should be aware of in order to protect their kids.
In today’s technological world, online games have become an integral part of many children’s lives. These games offer entertainment, social interaction, and even educational benefits, but they also come with potential risks. It is essential for us as parents to strike a balance between enabling our children to reap the benefits of playing video games online and remaining cognizant of the risks involved and adopting the appropriate preventative measures.
Less supervision from parents is a major risk factor for developing an addiction to online gaming. Online games provide rapid relief for lonely children. It transports children to a fantastical, make-believe world where their thoughts and imagination seem to run the show. As a result, individuals become angry and resort to destructive behaviors including aggression, self-inflicted damage, and even contemplation of suicide. In addition, while interacting with predators in online games, players increase their risk of being blackmailed, tormented (both online and offline), and having their personal information stolen.
That’s why parents shouldn’t keep their kids from using the Internet because they think it’s bad for them. Instead, they should be very aware of what their kids are doing online and take some of the steps below.
- Open Communication: Talk to your children about how they use the Internet in an open and honest way. Encourage them to talk about what they’ve done online, what worries them, and any unsuitable content they may find.
- Set Clear Boundaries: Set clear rules and guidelines for how to use the Internet. Talk about good services, time limits, and how to act online. Make sure your kids know what will happen if they break these rules.
- Parental controls and filtering software: Use parental controls and filtering software to limit access to websites or material that aren’t appropriate for kids. These tools can help you keep an eye on and control what your child does online.
- Teach Your Kids About Online Dangers: Talk to your kids about online dangers like stalking, identity theft, and phishing scams. Help them understand how important it is to keep personal information safe and how to spot and report things that don’t seem right.
- Supervision: Make sure you keep your child’s computer in a shared area of the house where you can easily watch how they use it. Check their browsing records and social media accounts often to make sure they’re following the rules.
- Privacy Settings and Security: Teach your kids how to set up their social media and other web accounts to protect their privacy. Tell them to use strong, unique passwords and not to share personal information online.
- Help your kids learn how to think critically so they can judge what they see on the Internet. Teach them to question the reliability and trustworthiness of sources and to be careful about sharing or believing everything they find online.