Should you let your boy play video games? Let’s look at the pros and cons:
Pro: Develops problem-solving skills
A big advantage of video games is their ability to develop problem-solving skills. Take a simple and non-violent game like Minecraft. There are loads of different Minecraft servers out there with different mini-games and things for kids to play. To be good at these games, your son needs great problem-solving skills. They need to look at the game and figure out how to make things out of blocks. Or, they need to work out how to get a certain mineral – or how to make food.
This is just one example, using one game. There are plenty of games that give kids ample opportunities to hone their problem-solving skills.
Pro: Improves tech skills
Video gaming can help a child develop their tech skills. If they’re using a computer to play games, they learn more about the computer and how to use different functions. In an age where tech skills are super important for jobs, gaming can set your child up for a really successful future.
Con: Chronic gaming can be unhealthy
It’s okay to game now and then, but if your boy is gaming for multiple hours a day, it can be unhealthy. They may spend too much time sitting down and not enough time being active. Inactivity can lead to a whole host of health concerns, like poor posture, weight gain, and muscle imbalances.
Con: Less time spent being socially active
Yes, gaming can involve playing with friends online, but if your child spends all of their free time gaming and speaking to people via a headset, their in-person social skills may lag. Boys need to interact with peers (and people of all ages) in-person to fully develop their social skills.
Summary: Help your boys find balance
Looking at the pros and cons, it’s clear that gaming can be beneficial. And damaging. And what’s good for one boy can be damaging for another, as some boys are particularly drawn to gaming (to the exclusion of almost all else), while others never play more than occasionally.
Balance is important. It’s not healthy for a boy (or anyone) to spend all his time playing video games. Encourage gaming breaks and outside time. Support healthy risk-taking. Plan family activities and in-person gatherings. Play games — video games, board games, word games, and active games — together.
Video games aren’t inherently good or bad. Work together to balance the pros and cons of gaming.
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