My kid wants to play Roblox. Now what?

Let me say, we are now entering our second round of dealing with online gaming and Roblox. Our eleven-year-old is a HUGE online gamer and probably could beat a grown up on any given day. Gaming literally saved him through the pandemic, and I would not change it. Does he still go outside? Yes. Does he still thrive in school? Yes. As adults, we have to, partially, get over the stigma that is attached to online gaming. It’s not ALL bad.

With all that said, can online gaming be bad and is there a right age for them to start? I personally think that it is all in the kid and the circumstances that surround it. It certainly can have cons. Our seven-year-old has now started playing Roblox and it worries me at times. Therefore, she has to play while supervised and here is why.

Roblox specifically…

Roblox is like an online wonderland for kids. They can go in and they can play in all these super fun places that other people have created or they can create their own. It is recommended for 13+ but over half of the people playing are under that age. There is not really a way to win, per say. It is more of an experience. They can join friends, have parties, build houses, and do millions of other things. They can even have a virtual birthday party!?!

Sounds fun, right? It is but, the main question is if it’s safe. Can your child be exposed to things that are not appropriate for their age? My answer is yes to both.

There are ways that you can make your child’s experience safe, using parental controls. For example, you can turn off the chat feature. That means that they cannot talk to other people online. You can turn off adding friends and various other items. You can also set the level of experiences that that can take part in, based on age. This makes the game safer to use. Don’t forget to block the spending portion too. Yeah, there’s a thing called Robux and they will drain your bank account buying “virtual” stuff!

However, I have found that even with the controls on, there is shady stuff. For example, my seven year old told me there was a white van with candy on the side of it in a world she was in. I took the game and got in the van to see what would happen. The van took me, and a group of other people, to an unknown room and then someone starting shooting. Is this age appropriate for a seven year old? Not in my opinion. Therefore, she now only plays the game while sitting in the same room with an adult. But this also opened the door for the conversation on what she should do in real life and we chose not to fully take the game.

I also turned on the chat feature for a bit to see what kids talk about. Yeah, turn it off. I was shocked by some of the stuff on there. People know how to say things and keep it borderline appropriate so they don’t get booted. Like saying, “take it off”. On top of that, there were many mean comments made and people being bullies. My recommendation is to just turn it off for younger kids but also have the conversation around online bullying. Our daughter now calls her friend and they go in the game to play together, while on the phone.

Online Gaming…

If you are going to allow your child to play online games, I would just do your research. Know how to use the parental controls and supervise younger kids. Kids are fairly correct when they say that the other kids are playing. Most kids are playing or have played Roblox, Minecraft, or Fortnite. Only you know your child though. Go with your gut and don’t be afraid to be the parent that says no. If they aren’t ready, you can’t supervise, or your gut is saying it’s not a good idea, don’t do it.

There actually are some pros to online gaming. There are games that involve building things and allows a kid to express themselves. Minecraft is great for this. They can use creativity and be proud of what they have built. Games also allow kids to interact with others. It’s a form of being social for them. It’s an extension of their in person interactions with friends and it’s just a place that we have evolved to in life. Our son also likes to remind me that apparently you can become a millionaire doing it. (To which, I still shake my head)

Overall, I really like the saying everything in moderation. That’s how I look at this topic. If the child is mature enough, you use parental controls, and supervise their game time, a little can be a good thing.

If you decide not to let them play games, check out my post on the TOP things to keep kids entertained.

-Kristy M., Mommy To Many

One comment

  1. This is a great line and I completely agree now that I have two game-loving kids:

    “As adults, we have to, partially, get over the stigma that is attached to online gaming. It’s not ALL bad”

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

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