As Pokemon Go continues to sweep the nation, it’s inspiring more than Pokemon masters to take notice. Parents everywhere are starting conversations about whether this latest game craze is good--or bad--for kids’ health and development.
Some parents fear that the app is a poor excuse for quality time. Others simply worry about the sheer amount of hours their kids are spending hunting Pokemon!
But what do the experts say when it comes to Pokemon Go and kids’ well-being?
It’s Okay to Get Creative!
The bottom line is, spending time with your kids is never a bad thing. If hunting Pokemon is something you and your child enjoy doing together, lose the guilt! While it’s important to help kids maintain balance in their lives--for example, if Pokemon Go is edging out homework time or causing them to lose sleep, that’s another matter--it’s okay to get creative when it comes to how you bond with your kids. Working together to catch an elusive Pokemon, exploring new places in your hunt, and talking while you walk is a terrific way to spend time together.
Catch that Exercise!
Exercising with your kids is always a great idea. And physical activities done as a family can be beneficial for everyone involved. This principle applies to bike rides, running, and--you guessed it--Pokemon Go! Why is exercise such a positive force in kids’ lives? In large part, because exercise causes the body to naturally release feel-good hormones like dopamine, which facilitate positive associations and bonding. Taking advantage of that natural boost is a great way of creating a stronger relationship with you kids. Plus, a 30-minute walk every day is excellent for your physical health!
Connect with Their World
You might be surprised just how much you enjoy this game with your kids once you give it a try. Part of the fun is simply a chance to see the world through your children’s eyes and give your kids a chance to share a piece of your childhood with you. You might see a clever game idea and a global craze--but your kids see adventure, characters they know and love, and stories to share with their friends--and you. Taking the opportunity to enter your children’s world can help you appreciate them in a whole new way--and have fun in the process.
If your kids love Pokemon Go, set aside some time in the near future to play together! Then get out there and make some memories, enjoy the time together, and catch ‘em all!
Interested in what you see here? Idaho Youth Ranch offers parenting classes to help parents develop skills to build and maintain positive relationships with their kids. Join our parenting gurus for this series where you can learn skills, ask questions, and have discussions in a non-judgmental, relaxed environment. Learn more about upcoming parenting classes at youthranch.org/parenting-classes.