How Playing Video Games Can Improve Your Parenting Style

While many parents are averse to children playing video games, as it has been deemed as a distraction from their education, moms and dads can, in fact, maximize video games to help them improve their parenting style. Moms, in particular, who are more exposed to stress at home, can benefit from spending some time a day playing games in their free-time.

Surprisingly, a survey featured by Gigaom suggests that the majority of social gamers are women. In fact, 38% of the survey’s female respondents said they are avid social gamers who play several times a day, compared to 29% of males. Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook is just one of the popular social game titles online. It has roughly 11 million monthly players, according to an in-depth report on Bejeweled Blitz by Jesper Juul. The same concept is now gaining popularity in online and mobile gaming through titles like Pocketfruity’s Starburst slot game that features dazzling diamonds and other shiny jewels that players need to burst to win the jackpot. And there are many other games parents can use to help them relax away from the rigors of day-to-day parenting.

So, with that in mind, here are more reasons why playing video games can help improve certain aspects of parenting:

Relieve stress and anxiety
One of the popular health benefits of playing video games is its ability to relieve stress and improve stress management. Research believes that anxiety and other psychological disorder are brought about by the pattered way of thinking. The brain starts to train itself to be stressed, where people commonly wake up in the morning feeling like “another day, ugh!” Playing video games can break the monotony of life and give the mind the break it deserves. It’s basically about refocusing the brain and energy into something else, aside from daily chores, the children, as well as a day job. Also, I particularly enjoy playing on my phone while waiting for my child's class to finish. It's another way to get rid of boredom.

Enhance parent-child relationship
It’s not only the parents that can benefit from playing games, as the whole family will be able to profit from it. Recently, it was proven that video games have the capacity to build relationship skills, which is a necessary component in having a strong parenting approach. "We are seeing clear evidence of improvements in mood, stress reduction, increased feeling of competence and autonomy and really strong feelings of being connected with the people they are playing with," said Daniel Johnson, Queensland University of Technology games research & interaction design lab director in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. Thus, parents who spend time with their children and play video games with them can build stronger and lasting relationships that they will cherish as they grow old. Do take in consideration the type of games appropriate for kids' ages, the frequency and duration of playing. Always make sure that you monitor their usage. Also, any video games or exposure to screen time is said to be inappropriate for babies and toddlers as this affects their concentration and attention span.

Develop skills to handle multiple tasks
Parents have plenty of tasks they need to juggle in a day. Often, the most challenging part of parenthood is the need to multi-task. But, video games have the power to enhance skills that can help one cope up with stressful situations. Research at the Texas A&M in 2010 revealed that playing video games for a long time helps people become less hostile during stressful tasks. A separate study even proved that it can enhance decision-making skills, as most games require fast reactions and split-second decision-making. These skills are necessary in building an effective parenting style to help bring up your children with.

*This is a contributed post*