Mother Daughter Relationships Improve With Gaming?
Moms are playing more and more online games. You’ve seen your Facebook wall light up with social game requests from other moms, right? It’s not surprising that young girls are increasingly playing online games as well.
I find if I jump in and play my daughter’s favorite girl games with her, it creates a sort of bonding time I hadn’t expected.
Let’s face it. She’s in 6th grade and already busy with after school activities, friends, and even extra babysitting. I don’t get a lot of time with her. And I feel like I don’t have many years left before the ‘teen zombie brain’ takes over!! (I know you know what I mean.)
Focusing On The Virtual | Opens The Conversation
Mary Heston—Author & Online Safety Expert has this to say:
Beach Party Dress Up from GirlsGoGames.com
“Mother’s shouldn't view gaming as something they can’t understand. Instead, simply see the game as a conversation starter. It can even help in parenting dilemmas!
"Playing an online game like Beach Party Dress Up with your daughter will give you an opportunity to talk about what is (and is not) appropriate to wear. She doesn’t feel defensive. She lets her guard down and you can bond and come to a mutual understanding of what each one of you feels is okay to wear. This could lead to discussions about what messages boys may be getting from the way that virtual girl is dressed. Or is a girl "asking for it" if she dresses a certain way? You and your daughter can talk (and even laugh) about what you think is okay (or not) for a virtual girl to wear.
"But as soon as she thinks the conversation is about her, walls may come up and the conversation ends. This applies to other games like word games—what words are okay to use? Or food games—how do we make healthy choices in the foods we eat? As long as you’re talking about that virtual person, then your kid will feel more open to the conversation ... Because, it's just a game.”
Play The Games She Likes
Girls don’t gravitate to competitive games, but fashion show games and pet parades are high on their fun list. My daughter and I were excited to learn that one of her favorite games called Sara’s Cooking Class is now available as a mobile app—the lite version (free—with 1 recipe/game) and a full, premium version ($2.98—6 recipes/games). It’s available in iTunes App Store for iOS devices and Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Android devices.
Each ‘cooking class’ is completed by following a recipe start-to-finish in a virtual kitchen. Including locating bowls, spatulas, knives, and mixing all the ingredients for coconut macaroons or a vegetable frittata. Then baking the ingredients and enjoying your creation at the end! There are nearly 60 different ‘recipes’ to test out! And believe me, we find time to test out our own fun recipes in our REAL kitchen as well!
I’m thrilled to participate in my tween daughter’s world for just a little bit longer…
What game is your daughter enjoying? Have you tried joining her?!
Interesting Follow-up Reading:
- Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life found that girls who played video games with their parents “were more connected to their families and had better mental health than those who played on their own or with friends.”
- Gaming is good for kid’s health!? Eye, Brain and Balance who knew?
Carissa works with GirlsGoGames.com testing new games with her daughter and sharing feedback.