Everyone is Talking
About Pokèmon GO, a virtually interactive game played on your smartphone where the goal is to spot Pokémon in real-life locations and collect items by throwing a Poké Ball at the character or item. This is all by using the GPS function on your phone.
Why do I care?
It’s only been available in the U.S. since Thursday and it’s become a sensation already with kids and adults alike. That being said, while it is fun, there are some cautionary tales that should be noted before you or your kids dive into the craze.
Tell me more.
Pokémon GO is a virtual reality game where players are on the hunt for their favorite Pokémon characters and items in real world locations. The Pokémon site description states in part:
Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items.
Injuries have become common while playing because of the tendency to look down on your phone – so brief your kids to look up regularly before chasing the latest Pokémon character or crossing that street to collect items. Also, sometimes, they need to ‘just say no’ to a challenge. If you have teens who are out and about around town, for example, the game may offer them something to collect behind, say… a Police station. That’s a no-go. I mean, we knew that, but apparently, it bears stating. The Duvall Police Department in Duvall, WA posted on their Facebook page yesterday, “…We have had some people playing the game behind the PD, in the dark, popping out of bushes, etc. This is high on our list of things that are not cool right now.”
There is, unfortunately, a darker side where armed robbers have managed to lure unsuspecting players into traps by using the geo-location feature, so that’s worth understanding. Work with your kids to create rules and strategies for avoiding dangerous scenarios. One woman seeking a water Pokemon was led to a dead body – so, yeah. Not awesome.
Definitely do your research – as with anything else digital when it comes to your kids, and before your kids get to tracking those characters, give them a proper briefing and some rules to follow. This game is new and evolving, so join in with your kids and stay on top of those changes.
In the Trenches
Have a little fibber on your hands? Lots of kids dabble in lying and at certain ages and stages, and according to experts, it’s cool. There’s all sorts of reasons kids lie so take heart – they won’t all grow up to be sociopaths. Parenting offers some insight to each age and stage and how to handle their lies to guide them through this phase of their development. It’s totes normal. We promise.
The Kids are Alright
It can be tough to communicate with our kids at varying ages and stages but it’s important to do so in a positive way and to keep the words flowing in both directions, so we found a couple of resources for you.
- Pop Sugar has 66 Things you should be saying to your child.
- Penguins in Pink has a great list of 35 questions to engage your preschooler or toddler. Not an easy feat, we know!
- Mom Smack has a TON of family dinner conversation starters and family chatter prompts. She posted them weekly for years and has them archived on her site. They are perfect for your tweens and teens.
Love makes the world go round, and Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new song with that same sentiment is our new jam.
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