Are you considering whether or not to pay for your child online game? Are you trying to convince your parents to pay? This article will explain why I think parents should pay, and why I pay for my son.
The sort answer is – control and protection. If you pay for the game you know a lot more, and the child is willing to share more information with you.
I guess it all started when my son wanted to get “membership” in one of the popular online games. My first respond was – not in this lifetime. I though it was a waste of time and money. However, when I sat and talked with my friends about it – they convinced me that before I give the final “no” – I better do some research about it.
When I went on-line I discovered many (too many…) guides for children how they can “earn” money so they can pay for their online games, despite their parents' disapproval. It became clear to me, that if the child really wants it, and the parent refuses – he can “find a way around it”. And believe me – you do not want your child to take this way.
The methods range from stealing the parent credit-card, stealing from a mobile shops, to lying about your age on-line so they can open a fake “PayPal” account and make money from surveys or movie watching sites (I leave it to your imagination how much children unfriendly these websites are).
When I discover that, I decided, that despite how much I would like to think that my son will not do these things – I do not want to put him to the try. So instead of making him unhappy and forcing him to give-up on his game or look for ways to bypass me, I made a deal with him.
I decided that if I’m going to pay for this stupid game I will make sure that my son is protected and not wasting too much time on the game.
Therefore, I chose to pay in the slightly more expensive way of repaying each month (instead of buying several months ahead). This way my son know that each day he must first do his homework, go to practice, play with his friends, and only after supper he is allowed to play for one hour. Also, in this time he must play in the living room – where I can monitor his actions, and he must always have all the children filters on (did you know that in some games these filters are optional?).
He always obeys the roles since he knows that if he will be caught otherwise I will stop paying immediately. Also, since I pay – he does not search for “other alternative”.
So I keep my son protected, and I have more control and information over what games he play, and what he is doing in them. I think that worth the couple of dollars a month the game costs.
Other option is to do as my friend decided – she found her son an after-noon children job. The money is his, but whenever he want to pay on-line (and need a credit-card for that) – she is paying for him and he pays her back. This way the kid learns about money, and that you have to earn it. Again this is an important lesson for life.
Remember the final decision is yours, and only you know your children well enough to decide. However, I think that sometime we can give them something we do not really like, in hope to prevent bigger damage. Good luck in your decision.
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