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Keeping Kids Safe from Gaming Predators

 

 

Cordova, TN; May 14, in the year of our Lord 2013 -- One of the God given duties to parents is to keep their children safe. There are plenty of dangers kids face on a daily basis. Entertainment is not always a safe haven, or babysitter for our children. Gaming predators will try and devour our kids. We parents need to stop that from happening because the video game industry will not act in our best interests. Here are some easy tips to help keep our kids safe from gaming predators.

Stay Involved

This may seem like a no-brainer but there are too many parents who have no clue what their kids are into, and what their kids do. Your children may not like you being actively engaged in their lives during certain periods of their life, but later on in life they will appreciate it. Spend time playing the games with them. You might find these games are too offensive to be in your household. Maybe the addiction factor will shake you awake. Maybe the people influencing them from inside this games will raise a red flag. You really have no idea what is going on if you are not actively engaged.

Check With Me

My kids know they can come to me and ask any question. They will always get an answer. They may not like the answer, but they will receive one. Your kids do not have all your experiences. They have not run into gaming predators. They have not faced viruses, malware, spyware, phishing scams, and other dangers. They have also not faced a harmless software update. So they do not yet know the good from the bad. This is where we parents come in. When they face something new we want them to come to us for answers. We parents will not always know, so we get actively involved, and assist them. I drop everything plenty of times during my day to assist my kids. I use it as a teachable moment. They cherish these moments as do I.

Personal Information

Kids need to be taught to avoid giving out personal information. They do not know when they are communicating with a gaming predator who wants to do horrible unspeakable things to them in the real world. What school they go to, what street they live on, their phone number, even their full name can be used to track them down. Parents have an obligation to teach their children to avoid giving out personal information online – especially if it is a public forum. A gaming predator may be listening in to your conversation with someone safe.

Limit Time

How much time do your children spend with video games on any given day? If you don't know the answer then you are not actively engaged. There are so many different things that can be done in a day. So it is very important to limit the amount of time spent in front of televisions and computer monitors. Get outside, go for a walk, play with a football, soccer ball, baseball, Frisbee or other safe objects. Video games influence our minds just like other forms of entertainment. The more time you spend with them the more they mold you into what they are teaching.

Read Reviews

Are the lessons in the games your kids play good or bad? There are gaming predators trying to warp your kids minds right under your nose. Read reviews, research the games (preferably before you purchase them), study the ESRB rating descriptors. The ESRB gets things right around 75% of the time. So they are not perfect. But they are better than just letting your kids pick whatever off the shelf. There are all kinds of adult only content in some games. Do you want your kids exposed to that? Would you rush into buying a house that is falling apart? What about rushing into buying a car that may not run tomorrow? You want all the information you can get so you can make an informed decision. Apply the same standards to the video games you purchase for your kids.

- Paul Bury
- Family Friendly Gaming

 

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