The benefits of learning through electronic gaming have been thoroughly studied and measured. From PS4s to multimedia touch-screen tablets, these gadgets have become household commodities. Interestingly, the most recent research shows that the advantages of having interactive devices in the home are exponentially increased if kids play games on them with their parents.
Intergenerational quality time
A group of researchers from Arizona State University discovered that by not playing video games with them, moms and dads are missing a golden opportunity to bond with their children. The study states that many parents don’t understand that this recreational activity is meant to be shared. Gaming is ideal for teaching young people about problem solving, communication and literacy, and it provides valuable teaching opportunities.
One of the main reasons that this kind of intergenerational interaction is beneficial is because it allows parents and children to work together inachieving one goal. This enables the caregiver to mediate and condition their kids’ responses by engaging with them.
This doesn’t just apply to action-packed video games on the Nintendo Wii and Sony PSP, but educational ones as well. New releases, such as the Innotab Learning Console, host many features that help with reading, spelling, maths, logic and even creative projects.
Some kids fear and dread anything to do with schoolwork. The inability to keep up with their peers, pass tests or understand basic concepts can easily erode a child’s self-esteem. Fortunately, educational games are designed to make learning an interactive and rewarding experience. With the help of parents, this can become a fun activity for all parties involved.
Researchers from the Stanford School of Social and Family Dynamics stated that all kinds of games can become “a point of conversation”. Getting your daughter a pink Innotab, or your son the new PlayStation Vita, will result in them showing you how to use it. This is empowering and allows children to feel knowledgeable and adequate.
Longitudinal studies have shown that when kids play console games with their parents, it results in decreased levels of internalisation and aggressive behaviour. In addition, it nurtures prosocial tendencies in girls.
The lessons learned from joining your children in this activity are based entirely on you:
- What can you teach your child from this game?
- Will you engage in imaginative play?
- Are you going to be patient and understanding?
- How can you make it a reliable, daily routine?
- What kinds of conversations will your gaming spark?
The educational options such as learning console games often offer feedback and advice to help young ones get progressively better. Above and beyond your role in your kids’ development, this pastime is an effective tool for exercising the brain.
The American Psychological Association has pinpointed enhanced visual processing, problem-solving abilities and improved attention spans from taking part in this activity. In addition, your interactions with your children will help boost their emotional intelligence, self-esteem and sense of wellbeing.
This year, make a resolution to get your little one a new game that you can both enjoy.
Ruan Smit is a geek by heart and enjoys the gaming experience since he cracked open his first self bought console game. Now its on to better and bigger things like Oblivion:Elder Scrolls Online and Wastelanders 2. He hopes he sees the day when Fallout 4 hits the shelves.