For many Gen Zs, gaming was what got them through the pandemic.
It was a valuable escape from the stress of lockdowns and provided a sense of community when school closures and social restrictions kept young people physically isolated during a critical time of social development.
But as life returns to a ‘new normal’, it’s not just young gamers who are lamenting the return to school or the office.
In fact, a survey conducted by GetCenturyLink into how gaming impacts familial relationships suggests that Gen Z parents are mourning the loss of quality time they enjoyed gaming with their kids, too.
More than 84% of parents said they ‘loved’ working from home because it gave them more time to game with their kids, with three-quarters (74%) saying they play video games with their kids at least once a week.
And young gamers loved it too – a third of young gamers surveyed said playing video games made them feel closer to their family, while 39% said gaming was their favourite way to spend time with family.
So how can you use gaming to connect with your kids?
The Tech Savvy Mama shared 4 tips to help build relationships and support your kids’ social and emotional development through gaming.
- Be open to the social and emotional benefits of gaming
In the past, gaming was written off as ‘screen time’. But it’s actually a valuable form of play that’s important for the development of our kids. Not only is it entertaining, engaging and fun, it also helps with mood management and repair which is essential for psychological health and wellbeing.
- Be game savvy
Remember, not all kids have the same level of maturity. When your kids come to you with new titles, make sure you check the ESRB rating, which provides content descriptions, rating summaries, recommended age guidelines, and an overview of the game’s interactive elements to help you decide whether the game’s appropriate.
- Get curious about gaming
We get it – video games can feel intimidating. But with Gen Zs being the world’s first ‘digital natives’, gaming together is like connecting with them in their ‘own language’. So get curious about gaming – ask your child what kind of games they like, and learn how to play with them.
- Include video games in family quality time
Did you know that just over half (55%) of Gen Zs want to make gaming a family tradition? So on your next game night, how about putting down the Monopoly and grabbing your console for a game of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is the family favourite for both parents and Gen Zs.