It's Spring Break, do you know what games your kids are playing? Chances are parents aren't too familiar with the video games to which their kids have access.
Many video games are violent and not rated age-appropriate.
Unlike the Entertainment Software Review Board that rates video games, Common Sense Media’s Senior Parenting Editor Caroline Knorr said they look at red flag issues and if it matches the right stage and age of children.
“We are looking at whether or not something has an appropriate level or violence or even sexual content, whether or not a game has learning potential, positive messages and positive role models for kids,” said Knorr.
She said some parents aren't even aware that video games have ratings.
Knorr said parents need to take into consideration if kids are getting something out of it: like learning potential and collaborative learning with another player, developing strategic maneuvering, and higher level thinking skills.
“We use childhood development guidelines to determine what we believe is the correct age that’s appropriate age for a child to play a game, watch a movie, download an app, read a book,” said Knorr.
She recommended sitting down with your child while they're playing and ask them to explain the video game to you because that communication will help to generate critical and deeper thinking as to why they're playing.