Just because your kids want to play games online does not mean they have to be non educational games. I am amazed at how many online educational games there are out there. I think it is important to check out these on line games as a parent. Play a few, make sure the content of the games are correct. I would like to believe that educational site would have accurate facts but it is always good for parents to check out each site themselves.
There are educational games for all kinds of subjects like online literature games , SAT Games, science games even math vocabulary games.
My son played a math vocabulary game the other day and I was amazed that there was actually a game for that out there. So if your kid is struggling on a certain subject do a search on games for that subject. You might be amazed at what you find.
With all the electronic options our kids have these days how do you keep a balance of electronics and face to face time with your kids. Instead of just saying no when they ask you if they can play on their game system or watch a movie give options on what you could do instead. Here are some ideas.
- Insist on meal time, breakfast, lunch and dinner to be electronic free. Meaning no TV OR cell phones!
- Play cards
- Go for a bike ride
- Go for a walk/stroll/run with your kids
- Play a board game
- Read out loud together – choose a chapter book to read as a family. Make it a classic and you will enjoy it even more. No matter how old your children are, even teenagers will enjoy this. A great site to find great books for kids is Homeschool Literature
- Have a picnic – inside or outside both ways are fun.
- Sit at the table and color, yes you read right just color. Even teenage boys will enjoy this if they give it a chance. They might give you a hard time about it but in the end they will have fun. You might want to look at free coloring and not coloring books.
- Topic jar – make a topic jar, have everyone in the family write down topics to talk about. Then set aside a time to spend discussing them one topic at a time. Some ideas for topics might be…. dream vacation, favorite meal including dessert, what type of car would you have if you did not have to worry about money, if you could be in a TV show what kind of show would it be?
- Play in a sprinkler WITH your kids.
- Draw on the driveway with chalk. You might find your teenager has a gift for chalk art.
- Take a look at the games from your childhood. Share them with your kids. Help them to be able to see how much fun you had as a child without electronics.
That is just a few ideas. I invite you to leave a comment with your own ideas to share.
I was asked the other day “How early is to early for your child to be on the internet?” My opinions might be different then others on this subject. But then my opinion is based as much on the cost of the computer as it is on the safety of the child. Let me explain that comment. We are in a tight budget family and the cost of replacing or repairing a computer is just not in our budget. We are very careful on how often our children are on the computer in fear they will damage it some how.
With that being said, I am amazed when I see people letting their kids play games and surf the internet on their smart phone or laptops. When I say kids I don’t mean teen agers but their preschoolers, as early as 2 or 3 years old. I know we live in an electronic age and that is not going to change any time soon but it is going to take some time for me to get used to this idea. In me getting used to the idea I need to allow my preschooler on the computer more.
But there are rules for any children in my home that use the computer/internet.
Top Rule for my preschoolers is …. Only when Mom/Dad can sit with you are you allowed on the computer/internet. Once my children are old enough to read the content this rule is still in effect but with a little of a change. Only allowed on the computer/internet if Mom/Dad are in the room and can see the screen. Also I do surprise checks on the history of the browser. My oldest son knows he is NOT allowed to delete the history if he does then he is not allowed to the computer for a week and then when he is allowed he will be treated like his little sister and have me sit with him a few days before he is able to be alone again. You can imagine he really does not like that idea.
Back to our topic, “How early is to early?” I guess that question is answered person to person and family to family. Just because your 3 year old is not ready to use a mouse and my 2 year old is, who are we to question this? The important part is that we are always keeping in our mind how to be safe with our children and families on line. The same way will be if are when we are in person in public. This will keep our young ones safe while using the internet. One of the main ways we have kept my oldest son safe is if the internet program says they have to be 13 or even 16 then we follow that rule. There is no messing round w/ birthdates in this house. That means my oldest will not have a facebook account till his 13th birthday. His friends might have one but he will not. Our kids are growing up so fast that why should I speed it up.
Coming up we will go over some internet safety for all ages! Here is a great article that to help you until then…
“Internet Kid Safety“
In a world of hp, apple, ipods, wii, dsi, ps2, xbox, netflix and the list goes on. How do parents keep up? I don’t know about you but I struggle to keep up with the what’s new, what my child (11 year old boy) is into this week or what is coming out soon. I hope that this site will not only help me but help you out as a parent in this age of computers to have some help choosing what is right for your family and the children/teens in your world.
I have an 11 year old boy, a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. This means I really need to get on the ball and keep up with what is new and also teach my kids to be safe while they are navigating through this computer age.
So join me as we navigate together “Parenting in an Electronic Age.”