Most Indian parents support their children enjoying online games with certain restrictions, reveals a study.
Sixty one per cent of the parents agreed that online games are beneficial to kids. Sixty per cent of the parents also believe that online gaming can be a great stress buster for kids, according to findings of a study conducted by YourDost, leading online counselling and emotional wellness platform on Indian parents’ perception of their children’s online gaming.
The study aimed to discern what Indian parents think about their children engaging in online gaming. The study also analysed the levels at which the risks of online gaming outweigh the benefits for children.
The pandemic has forced children to find alternative at-home activities to pursue. It has led to an increase in online gaming activities.
The study involved 429 parents, including working professionals, homemakers, retirees, and entrepreneurs. The study, conducted across parents of children in various age groups, such as toddlers, preschoolers, pre-teens, adolescents, and adults.
As many as 65 per cent of the parents have played online games themselves and understand why their children play online games.
According to the study, 48 per cent of the parents believe online gaming is a great way to socialise.
The study makes it clear that the vast majority of Indian parents do come from a place of empathy. About 65 per cent were themselves online gamers and understand why their kids play online games. It reveals that 83 per cent of the parents who are entrepreneurs, strongly feel that online gaming can be beneficial for their kids. Most entrepreneurs play skilled games like sudoku to develop their skills in sharpening their brain and develop their strategic thinking. As they are aware of this, they will want their children also to develop these skills through online gaming.
The study showcased that Indian parents also have many fears concerning online gaming. Their fears are not unwarranted, as many parents found that online gaming can hamper the child’s academic performance.
According to the study, 88 per cent parents feel that online gaming could be addictive. A 79 per cent think that online gaming can hamper academic performance while 74 per cent feel online games can cause violent behaviour among children
Most parents (76.1 per cent) also felt that their child’s online gaming habits caused frustration in the family. Therefore, 78 per cent of parents think that it’s essential to have ground rules for online gaming. Parents also expressed that they would like to monitor the kind of games their child is playing.
The study unveiled that while most parents agree that online gaming has its benefits, they are also fearful of gaming turning into an addiction. Most parents are aware of the pros and cons of online gaming. They are interested in laying flexible ground rules that can benefit the children and prevent hazards.
The study recommends that having a fixed gaming schedule, and educating the child on the advantages and disadvantages of gaming, can be crucial steps in making gaming a pleasurable experience. The study also suggests having frequent conversations about the child’s feelings about the games. Emotional behaviours can help understand the impact of gaming patterns on children. Overall, practising good gaming hygiene can make online gaming a stressbuster for children and parents.
“In this age of digital outreach, it’s no surprise that the amount of time towards online gaming has increased. It is even more so now because of the real-life experience and the advent of AR/VR. But everything has its set limit of dosage. There needs to be the right balance in terms of how much parents need to allow their kids to play online games. The right mix of time and conversation with kids will bring in positive outcomes,” said Richa Singh, Cofounder and CEO, YourDost.