Connecting With Your Gamer – Session II

Dear Parent,

Our world is steeped in the performance mentality, and your teenager is not immune! Teens can easily get caught up in a performance trap, and subconsciously may believe your love for them is bound up in whether they are performing good or bad, right or wrong. Take any opportunity to teach otherwise.

If your child enjoys playing video games, playing a game with your teen even for a short time is one way to do this. Sitting alongside your teen while playing a game or two will communicate they are what is most important to you, not what they do or how they perform. Your child needs to know they are your top priority, no matter what their grades are, or how they perform in sports or other extracurricular activities.

Have fun with it, even if you are terrible!

One side benefit is allowing your teen to see how you handle something you are not good at. Part of strategic parenting is encouraging our children to try new things but to not be afraid fail. This is part of life! We try new things, stumble, pick ourselves back up again, and then try again until they’ve got it mastered. Playing video games with your teen provides a simple but great opportunity for you to show them how this is done. Have fun. Laugh at yourself as you mess up, and then try again. That’s a great response pattern for them to learn.

As the parent, you are continually in the position of instructing and teaching your child. Playing video games with your teen provides a unique opportunity to let them teach you, and encourages in a small way the leader in them. Give your teen a chance to shine with something they are good at and to experience the joy of sharing it with someone else.

Meeting your teenager where they are can be an amazing adventure. If this is through video gaming, don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Walking with you,
Tim Rauser

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