I hope that you are enjoying this week filled with joy with your children. Pijamas, costumes, celebration of diversity… these are all moments that allow for valuable play and powerful interactions. Each event also brings the opportunity for you to engage in dialogue and engagements with your children.
Fortnite and other video games
So, we have continued to see issues where students share that the content of the video games that they are allowed to play at home is inappropriate. We have also received parent recommendations and ideas on how to support balanced and appropriate digital lives for children. It is truly wonderful to engage in these conversations and learn together. The game “Fortnite” comes up regularly, yet I invite you to read the below and connect with your parenting approach to gaming and how you support your children with their digital engagements.
We have had many parents approach us with questions and concerns regarding children and video games. We have also spoken to students and they share their habits connected to video games. The game Fortnite is gaining popularity, not only amongst our students, but around the world and we are calling you to become informed and take action around this. Fortnite’s cover rates it as “T” - appropriate for Teens primarily because of the open chat and action violence. Exposing children to games that are developed for older developmental stages, is simply not safe and does not respect children’s needs and safety.
We ask parents to check ratings and make informed decisions regarding what games children play. At school, we have individual conversations with parents and ask that games that are not appropriate are eliminated as a possibility. Please be aware that “...there is live, unmoderated chat possible between users in the console and PC versions of Fortnite: Battle Royale. Both voice chat and on-screen text chat are options. This exposes players to random strangers and the likelihood of profanity. Up to 100 people participate in a match together! Unmoderated chats are a serious security risk for vulnerable pre-teen children…” (Psychology Today)
Speaking to other parents and reaching agreements for “device free playdates” is a great strategy to get children to find other healthier alternatives. As we shared in our parent workshop at the beginning of the school year, there are many positive uses of technology and you can support your child by determining if the engagement is contributing to their lives in positive ways. Here’s one link where you can check on ratings and information about games, movies and media in general:
This week each student demonstrated their creativity, personalities, and nationalities through Spirit Week - A schoolwide initiative to celebrate our similarities and differences and value diverse perspectives. What would our world be like if we all demonstrated being OPEN-MINDEDNESS? Open-minded people “understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.” (-IBO). Together, what can we do to positively impact our world?