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When Video Games Are Bad for Your Grandkids

There are many fun and engaging video games out there that actually help children move around, develop social skills and learn. However, not all video games are helpful or good for kids. Some video games might scare young kids or make older children exhibit combative or aggressive behavior. Knowing when to let your grandchild play and when to stay away will help you harness the power of video games for good in your grandchild's life.

Look at the Rating

The first thing you should do in deciding whether to let your grandchild play a particular video game is to look at the age rating on the game box. ERSB ratings suggest age appropriateness and highlight content that may trigger a specific rating such as violence, language, sexual content and use of drugs. Use the rating to protect your grandchild from material that is inappropriate for his age or maturity level. You can discuss this with your grandchild'​s parents when your grandchild is going to bring video games to your home.

Know the Negative Side Effects of Video Games

Every child is different, but studies have shown that the following negative side effects are possible when children play video games or watch TV shows that are not appropriate for their age. 

  • Nightmares
  • Foul language 
  • Aggressive play or behavior
  • Increased use of violence to solve problems
  • Unrealistic fears about their own safety
  • Lack of empathy for others

Make Good Video Game Choices

Use reasonable consequences when your grandchild breaks your video game rules. Also, buy or rent only age-appropriate games and play them with your grandchild so that playtime remains fun and productive.