This is step five of our Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit. You can find all other steps as accessible web content here.

Teach some basics

Let your kids know there are simple things they can do to look after themselves while playing.

Most game manufacturers have a safety centre, and you should look at them together with your child and teach them how to use tools available.

Start with how to block people, how to report content and how to use privacy settings. Teach your child the risks of entering personal information, such as their (or your) debit/credit card.

For the most part, gaming is an enjoyable and enriching way to enjoy downtime or compete in a challenge that will provide satisfaction. But parents need to explain that to enjoy gaming, it needs to be safe.

The five tips to help your child thrive are safety tools you can teach:

  1. Keep it FUN.
    Gaming is meant to be enjoyable – and sometimes edu­cational. But it has the potential to get in the way of other things. When you sense your child’s gaming is starting not to be as fun, suggest a break.
  2. Keep it PRIVATE.
    Some information shared publicly can make your child vulnerable to identity theft or grooming. It’s important to be cautious when sharing:- Passwords- Address of home or school- Birthdate- Bank details- Personal information that could be used to guess security questions
  3. Keep it BALANCED.
    Make sure your child maintains a good range of activities in their life alongside gaming, so they balance offline connec­tions with playing time.
  4. Keep it REAL.
    It can seem like common knowledge to adults, but it is hard for children to understand not ev­eryone is who they say. Gaming is based on fictitious personas, so explain that while it can be exciting when people want to play, they need to be careful. Talk with your child about games and conversa tions they share with strangers, why this may not always be safe, and how they should handle tricky situations.
  5. Keep it SPORTING.
    Teach your child to be kind, respectful, and careful when talking to or shar- ing information with people they don’t know. Encourage them to play fairly and always be a good sport.

Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit

This is the fifth step in our seven-step framework Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit. It’s designed to help parents and whānau with digital parenting in a rapidly changing world.

You can will find the other steps as accessible individual pages here, or download the full Online Whānau Gaming Toolkit (PDF, 37MB).


If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.


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