As a parent it is important for us to make good choices for our children. Deciding on a gaming system, and what games are appropriate, is no exception to the rule.

Technology is constantly changing and advancing, and what may have been popular a few years ago is now labeled as outdated. So, how do you select the gaming system that will best suit your family? Here are a few basic questions to help narrow down your options.

Do You Want a Portable System? 

Is the primary reason for buying a system to take it in the car, on trips, etc.? If so, then a portable unit is the right choice. On the other hand, if you only want something that is played at home, then you have just narrowed down your choices considerably.

For younger children and early teenage years, a good portable choice is the Nintendo 3DS. This device also comes in an XL version that includes a larger screen and larger buttons. If you’re buying a portable system for an older teenager or young adult, the PlayStation Vita would be a good fit. This option includes great multimedia functions that are typically appealing to this age range.

How Will the System Be Used?

Will it be just a gaming unit, or would you prefer something that will integrate social media capabilities right onto your television? Next, consider if you want games that are interactive.  If you’re searching for good family active games, check out the Nintendo Wii. You can purchase the unit separately or choose one of their bundles which will include some popular games and the accessories needed to play them.

For heavy gamers or multimedia gamer, take a look at the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

What Type of Games Will You Be Purchasing? 

Another area to consider is what type of games you are comfortable with allowing your child to play. Do you want only non-violent games, or do you have a teenager that is a serious gamer and feel it is okay for him to play whatever he enjoys?

If there is a particular must-have game, be sure to check its availability on the system you are considering. Not all games are available on every system, so locate the console that offers appropriate games for your child.

What Is Your Price Range? 

Price is another aspect to examine. It’s not just the price tag of the gaming system to consider. Be sure to factor in the additional cost of other games you’ll be purchasing, as well as accessories to play the games.

Do you have more than one child? If so, keep this in mind as you may need to purchase two steering wheels, remotes, etc. for the games. To keep the cost down with future purchases, consider buying used games. There are a variety of places to pick up pre-owned games at extremely low prices.

What Age Is Your Child? 

The best option for a younger child is typically different than it is for a teenager. Some of the systems have parental controls on them, while others do not. If this is mandatory feature for you, then you’ll only need to research the systems that include this option. Our children are precious gifts from God, and keeping a watchful eye on them is a natural part of parenting.

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 127:3, KJV

While gaming systems can be a fantastic entertainment option for your child, don’t overlook setting time limits. Not only can they strain their eyes from prolonged use, but it may lessen their creativity and physical agility. Keeping a healthy balance will not only keep your child happy, but it will put a smile on your face too.

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