While the World Wide Web expands, more and more individuals are getting online for all of their necessities and for their enjoyment. Online games are just one of the many different ways to enjoy the internet. But, there is a newer trend happening right now. Instead of just throwing our attentions to online gaming atmospheres, we can also allow our children to enjoy the wider world of entertaining online. But, is it safe? And, even if it is, should we allow our children to be using online gaming at all? Is it any better than them sitting in front of a television?
Many parents simply do not have the time to monitor all the activity their children are having online. All parents need to know that there are many predators online that are seeking out our youngsters. But, there are ways to prevent them from coming near to our children. For example, in online gaming rooms, you can easily disable chatting and interaction. You can also disable instant messages as well. Yet, an even more effective manner for protecting our children while they are online is to simply keep the computer they will be using right in the living room, the kitchen or in any area that is open where you can see what's going on just by turning your head. When parents are aware of what is going on while their children are online, they can keep their children better protected. And, itís never too soon to talk to your children about stranger danger even on the computer.
Okay, but what about the gaming? Should we allow our children online to play games?
It is important to break down some age levels here. For children who are young, it is essential to allow them time to learn about computers, but you need to do it in a one on one situation. In these cases, there are many games that are actually quite beneficial for them to play. Many games can teach reading skills, math skills, and many other aspects of learning. And, because it is fun, kids simply love to do it. They enjoy the colors, the sounds, and the idea of playing with Mommy or Daddy. Itís a great time for some bonding as well.
Then, we can look towards the older age. Those who enjoy cartoons on television will love the games that focus around these topics. And, you'll find many games that do. Online games like these can help with motor skills and computer usage skills. But, why not teach them a little by getting them into a different type of game, one that will challenge them. For example, word puzzles and just puzzles in general can stimulate the mind in many ways. Or, teach them a little history with a program like Oregon (or Amazon) Trail in which they need to survive a treacherous trek through the wilderness. Even older children can benefit from the "Sim" games as well. The less violent ones are better because they teach your little entrepreneurs to use many skills to build cities, buildings, companies...you get the idea.
When it comes to allowing teens online, you really need to allow at least some online time. At that age, they are into communicating with their friends through email and instant messages, but interactive games are very popular. Competing against friends is a definite need that many kids have. Is it any worse or any better than a Playstation or Xbox system? Probably not, but at least they are interacting with others. And, you can somewhat monitor their actions or limit their internet exploring when you provide them with what many ISP's are offering and that is parental controls on accounts set up just for kids.
So, where does that leave us and the online gaming world? Should children be allowed online? Yes, we believe that kids of all ages should at least have the opportunity to learn how to use the computer. It is an essential skill. But, what about playing games? Yes, they need this too. In a safe environment, there are few other places that you can play so many games for a low cost. They can learn from them as well. You can monitor just what they are doing. If you are a parent trying to figure out where you stand with your children being online, consider it a learning experience to allow them to surf with you, even if itís just once. Then, you will be able to see just what is out there to offer your children and how well they enjoy it.
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Steve is a writer at GrandMatrix. They provide family friendly games, puzzles and articles. Download and play the latest PC games for free plus enjoy thousands of user submitted puzzles, quizzes and word games at Free Online Games and Downloads
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