How to parent a Pokémon Trainer
If your kids are suddenly keen on spending more time outside, you can probably thank Pokémon Go. The new smartphone app has changed video gaming and, with just a few watchouts, it’s an active way for your children to get their digital fix.
What’s it all about?
So your kid’s triumphantly run into the house telling you about the Golbat they’ve caught outside. Don’t worry, it won’t ruin the house. What’s getting children so excited is “Pokémon Go” a smartphone based game that involves catching Pokémon, or ‘pocket monsters’.
Remember the TV show, trading cards and Nintendo games from the 90s and early 2000s? These quirky little creatures are out of hibernation, and have made a massive comeback in the real world on smartphones.
How does it work?
- The goal of Pokémon is to ‘catch them all’. Kids can find and catch Pokémon using their smartphone, with the goal of becoming a Pokémon master. They probably won’t want to put their phones down anytime soon either, because there are already over 200 to catch.
- What’s really made Pokémon Go take off is something called ‘augmented reality’. Pokémon used to stay in the digital world, but thanks to this amazing new tech, they’re hanging out on our streets, parks and beaches. If your kid is uncharacteristically eager to visit an art sculpture, it’s probably because there’s a cartoon monster lurking in the area that they can “catch”.
- The more you explore the real world, the more Pokémon you’ll find on your smartphone, so there’s a real opportunity to keep the kids active.
Tips for being a Poké Parent
The same ‘stay safe’ rules you think your child knows can go completely out the window when they’re lost in Poké-world. So here are a few tips and watch outs:
- Eyes up while Poké-hunting especially around roads. Remind your kids of the road rules.
- Don’t let your child Poké-Go alone. Strangers can be a risk, so young Pokémon Go players can be easy targets.
- Watch out for in-game purchases. Although Pokémon Go is free to download, the game allows people to buy digital items to level up. These are sometimes all too tempting for competitive kids.
- Set a Pokémon time limit. The game can be addictive, so make sure your child’s getting a healthy balance of real world and Poké-world.
- For teenage Poké trainers, never let them Pokémon Go and drive. Make a family digital agreement.
- Check out the game for yourself. Your kids will love to share their Pokémon collection with you. Downloading the app and catching a Pikachu or two yourself could also be a great way to set up some family adventures.