Parenting advice: Play video games with your kids

Games can foster critical thinking skills

SAN ANTONIO – Kids spend a lot of time  playing video games, and their parents spend a lot of time worrying about it. But, instead of nagging your kids to put the tablet down, Consumer Reports says there is reason to get in the game yourself.

Seven-year-old Brynn Davis would like to teach her mom how to play her favorite video game.

"We could have lots of fun," she said.

She may be onto something.

Consumer Reports' Bree Fowler suggests rather than trying to pull the plug on your kid's interest in gaming, get involved yourself.

"Maybe sit down and play with them like you play a board game or play catch outside," Fowler said. "Kids love to explain. They love to teach and they love to feel like you respect them as an intelligent person."

Parents can often get hung up on whether a game is educational. But experts say many games are all about problem-solving and making decisions.

Arizone State University's Center for Games and Impact agrees, claiming well-crafted video games foster "critical skills necessary for navigating an interconnected, rapidly changing 21st Century world."

Brynn's mom, Alayna Davis, agrees. She says the games her kids play are interactive, allowing them to play with each other or play with their friends remotely.

"You're still reaching out and forming relationships through those games as well," she said.

Davis does still monitor screen time and content, but she asks questions along the way.

"It sparks the conversation that can lead into more, you know, just communication with your kids," Davis said.

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