Keeping Your Daughter Safe | Online Gaming For Girls

What's the safest way to keep your tween daughter safe while she plays online games?

First step? Read through this website! There is fabulous information about children's online safety here on WiredSafety.org. The creator, Parry Aftab is one of the most recognized online safety experts.

I've watched my nearly 12 year old daughter play more and more online games. She was never very attracted to video games with the car chases, speed and loud noises. She'd MUCH rather read a book, draw, color or generally create something. It's been interesting to watch what types of games she gravitates to and why she sticks with one over another.

But much more concerning to this Wired Mom is just plain, making sure she is safe while playing online. Whether using email with her friends... or playing a pet party game where she can 'virtually' meet up with her 'pet' friends, I want my daughter to be SAFE.

5 Suggestions to Keep Your Tween Daughter Safe While Online Gaming

1.BE THERE WITH HER

In a recent study Brigham Young University's School of Family Life showed that girls who played these types of games with their parents actually had better relationships with them. The same study did not show the same thing for boys, so go out and play football with them?

2.PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEBSITE'S RULES

Each website has its own set of rules, or TOS (Terms of Service). Websites collecting information from children under the age of thirteen are required to comply with Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Thirteen is a good age for many reasons. Follow those rules!

3.NEVER SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION

Teach your daughter what is (and is never) okay to share in any online venue... including: address, phone numbers, school name, city and most of the time her real name. Read more about risks to children here on WiredSafety.org.

4.BY EXAMPLE

Allow her to watch when you are using online social media, whether it's gaming, Words with Friends or social time spent on Facebook or Instagram. Don't overshare, and remember: If you'd be ashamed if your grandma read your update, think twice about publishing it. WiredSafety expert Parry Aftab suggests The 5 Minute Rule:

"Think about what you are about to post before you hit send. If it is something you are emotional about you may even want to step away from the computer for 5 minutes and come back to it."

Parry recommends breaking away and doing something you love for five minutes to calm down.

Bottom line: Think before you post. And teach your daughter the same!

5.FIND SAFE SITES

Sit down with your daughter and locate gaming websites that are appropriate for her age as well as her likes. Several we like: GirlsGoGames.com, American Girl and ScribblePress (an amazing iPad app where they can create their own stories!).

Girls are not as interested in competitive games and will often gravitate to games that include dress up, pets and generally imitating the grown up world. Sara's Cooking Class from GirlsGoGames.com is a terrific example of this and is also available on the go as an iPad App ($2.68).

Carissa Rogers is a Mom, a Blogger and Social Media Consultant. She works with GirlsGoGames.com giving feedback on their website and games. She writes her Good n Crazy thoughts on GoodNCrazy.com and you can connect with her on Twitter: @CarissaRogers.