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

Learn about your child’s gaming

The most effective way to find out is to ask. Nothing beats an open and honest kōrero.

It’s important you understand your child’s gaming activities and experiences and ones they want to explore. There is a range of games available, but not all are suitable for everyone.

Talk to your child about what they do or want to do, their use of gaming consoles and who they’re chatting with. Take time to tune into a meaningful conversation – what might seem like just a game to you could be the way your child is connecting and interacting with people they don’t know.

Research shows good digital parenting is critical to the success of young people being safe, confident and capable in using technology. Proactive conversations at home help minimise damage if things go wrong online. These could include:

  • What is the age restriction for your game?
  • What are you playing?
  • Are you playing with school friends? Do you know the person?
  • Are you buying things within your games?
  • What information do you share?

Ask your child what advice they would give to a friend facing online challenges. This can make it easier for them to discuss any issues they may have. It also helps you understand what they know, what they do and how they behave.

Show interest upfront. it will make it easier to have more difficult conversations if a challenge arises down the track.

Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit

This is the second 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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