Eavesdrop on Your Children While They Play

Our kids’ online lives can seem like a mystery. In particular, if they are addicted to games, they can sit with headphones behind closed doors for hours, leaving you wondering who they are talking to and what those conversations are like. If so, one popular gambler gives parents advice: you must listen.

David Marchese recently spoke with Tyler Blevins, better known as “The Ninja,” a popular video game streamer for teens and young adults, for the New York Times . Blevins says he often meets kids who say racist or aggressive things and threaten women while streaming.

It would be great, says Blevins, if you could somehow trace the parents of these children to let them know what hurtful or inappropriate language their teens or teenagers use on the Internet, but that is not possible, which means parents need to be vigilant. about what their own child is saying. As Blevins says :

It all comes down to parenting. Do you want to know who your child is? Listen to him when he is playing video games when he thinks he is not. Here’s another question: How does a white child know he has a white privilege if his parents never teach or talk about racism? If they are playing and first encountered racism when one of their friends utters the N-word and they have no idea what it is – what if it was on my stream? Is it my job to talk to this child? No, because the first thing that happens in my head is that this guy is doing this on purpose to troll me.

This is an intrinsic problem with the ‘let the kids be kids’ argument and ‘talking about racism and sexism only divides us further.’ If we, as parents, do not talk about these problems with our children, society (especially their peers) will wait to do it for us. They may learn – and use – words they have never heard before in an offensive manner without even realizing how offensive they are, and they may not hesitate to ask what a word or phrase means before they will begin to accept them into their own language. by hurting or insulting others along the way. Not to mention the fact that they can say things that may lead to the fact that on them will be reported.

I’m usually not the type to spy on a child’s privacy (unless there is a compelling safety reason to do so), but Blevins’ suggestion to spy on your child’s play is a good suggestion. I don’t advise you to pull up a chair and put your ear to their bedroom door for an hour, but from time to time, a quick audition as you walk by can give you some idea of ​​how they interact with online gamer friends and if you are there. need to talk.

At the very least, it’s a good idea to check them out from time to time to ask about the game friends they met online and what playing with those friends was like. As long as you are engaged and engaged, your chances of them telling you about these interactions will be higher, which will help pave the way for productive communication.


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