So how do you turn ‘the Wii, Xbox or Playstation’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch the video below.
[00:00:00] How do you turn a gaming console into a teachable moment? Let’s find out.[Music].
[00:00:15] Hi, I’m Cath from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is that channel where I help you comfortably talk to your kids about sex, love, relationships, growing up, and puberty. So, how do you turn a gaming console like an Xbox, Wii, or Playstation into a teachable moment?
Well, gaming consoles are a perfect opportunity to start talking about screen time. Research says that if you start bringing in boundaries around screen access when they’re younger, your kids will be better behaved (with using these things) as a teenager. But, it’s about what works for your family.
[00:00:57] When my son has too much screen time, he acts revolting so we have stricter rules in our family. If they sneak off with a device, they’ll lose access to it, and they also don’t go on the internet during weekdays. To figure this out, I sat down with my kids and had a talk. We fought a lot about it so I thought, ‘We should try working together as a family.’ So, we sat down and negotiated. During the weekdays, my kids will only go on the internet for schooling reasons. They might go on Reading Eggs or Mathletics, and sometimes my son will bring up his iPad for homework.
But, if my son tries to watch YouTube, he gets in trouble. So, I do supervise him. Personally, I choose not to use any programs or routers that can stop your kids from searching up or going on certain apps. We might in the future, but for now, we don’t. So, my kids don’t use any devices during the weekdays. As soon as they get home on Friday, however, they’re allowed to use devices until dinner.
During the weekends, they usually get up early and have some screen time then. Sometimes it’ll be longer if I’m distracted or trying to do some work while I have time to myself. That’s how it works in my family and it’s worked well for the past two years. My daughter’s in high school now, so recently she’s started sneaking off while I think she’s doing homework. Really, she’s usually watching videos or using the internet. Soon we might bring in an app to stop her from doing that, or I might have a conversation with her.
[00:03:07] That sort of stuff happens when you get slack. Anyway, this video is about using these devices as an opportunity to talk to your kids about when they can and can’t use them and bringing in boundaries about usage. Are you comfortable with them have a friend come over and play games all day? If they’re playing games with their friend, are they socializing or just sitting there?
If your kids like games, experts say you should sit down and play with them. Get them to show you how it works and have conversations about it. When you’re playing, go, ‘So who am I playing with? Who are they? There’s someone, do you ever talk to them? Can you join chats? Can other people join in that chat?’
‘So other people can join, but what if you want to talk about something private, can you go somewhere alone?’ By investigating and asking about the game’s boundaries with younger kids, they’re more comfortable with telling you this sort of stuff. Why should you do this? In multiplayer videogames, there are adults who like to groom children, especially if they play games. When they play games together, this makes your child more comfortable to share personal information and even meet up with them.
[00:04:53] So the both of you can talk about cyber safety together. There is also that opportunity to start talking about pornography, about how when you play games with people, there’s a chance they could show you rude pictures.
There has been Facebook posts about private rooms in Minecraft where people are sexting. That conversation is also linked to grooming and how young kids shouldn’t be exposed to that sexual risk. But these are all opportunities to talk about what’s appropriate. If they’re playing a violent game you can unpack what’s happening and say, ‘What’s happening in that game? Do you think it’s okay to do that, would you go up to someone and kick them like that?’
Anyway, I hope that makes sense. Cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.