You want the best for your kids, but what exactly is that? It’s tempting to give them the chances you wish YOU had growing up or encourage them to choose what you think would be best for them. It’s also tempting to raise them in the ways that experts say is best, but your children are unique and that advice might not be relevant to who they actually are. So, let’s take a look at how to raise children to be leaders.

First, we’ll ask, what is being the best parent you can be for them? To raise children to create the life that they truly would like to live. It takes vulnerability, honouring, trust, gratitude and allowance (for them and you). To raise your children to be leaders, you have to be a leader too. This can be done by:

Honouring kindness

My youngest son (now 22) was invited to join Mensa at age 12. He refused. He locked himself in the toilets at school because the teachers were pushing him too hard. As a young child, my eldest son was diagnosed with learning difficulties and put in special education classes that tried to make him fit into a system. However, that system did not fit him. 

Forcing anyone to be what you desire is dishonouring. Ask yourself, what is the kindness that will make the greatest difference to your kids?

Encouraging curiosity, which ensures creativity

Encourage them to explore whatever makes them curious. Making mistakes is a way of receiving more awareness from every choice. Allow them to take risks that may not work out! That’s curiosity and creativity in action. 

Children become disheartened when they are made to ‘choose’ something that doesn’t stimulate them.  When they make choices that may be making their life difficult, I ask, very kindly, ‘How is that working for you?’. This allows them to address the question from a space of curiosity and capacity for a change. 

If a child is resisting and reacting to being controlled, they are distracted from the awareness you are inviting them to. If you allow them to hold the reigns of their life, they can get clarity and make educated choices. 

The education system is linear, but your child’s world is not.  My eldest son (now 25) loves knowing how things work. He recently became obsessed with flying and building drones. This fascination created connections with a tech inventor, that is revolutionising the way power is created and used in the world. Together these leaders are changing the face of the energy industry globally. Creativity is generative energy that creates true leaders.

Building trust and letting them choose

Kids innately know what they enjoy and would like their future to be like energetically. Think back to your childhood. What were you fascinated by? What place does that have in your life now? Allow your children to follow their interests.

How many choices do you make for your children because ‘you know best’? What would it be like if you showed them how to trust their awareness and follow their intuition?

When a child trusts themselves, they’ll instinctively know who to trust as they become a leader. Being able to back yourself when no one else does, is what creates a true leader.

Offer total presence and awareness

As a child, I was OCD, ADHD, Autistic and couldn’t sit still in a chair. I failed at school because I couldn’t be linear. For a long time, I made that wrong, however, my sons are showing me how well this worked for them. I allowed them to be who they are, even if it made no sense to anyone else.

Of course, there are many paths to being a conscious, creative leader and these are some of the choices that have worked for my family. What are you aware of that would make the greatest difference for your kids? Ask them what they know too and get excited for the day that their awareness surpasses yours. Thats when their leadership capacity will begin to create an even greater future.

About the author of how to raise children to be leaders

Moira Bramley is a leadership and parenting expert, and certified facilitator for Access Consciousness, including the Wealth Creators Anonymous program. Moira is also an experienced investor and has many investments in property and shares, including a start-up led by her eldest son.


I had it all planned. I was going to get everything about being a mom right. After all, I had degrees in child development and I was also willing to consult the experts to make sure I was providing the most perfect, appropriate, nurturing environment for my children.

And then, my first colicky baby was born. And then my second. And then, a year later, I got divorced. My kids were high energy from the get-go, determined, tenacious, and it was all I could do to get to the end of the day some days. None of this was part of my plan!

Parenting is one of those uber-high-stakes areas where getting it wrong seems like the worst thing you could possibly do! The books, the coaches, the consultants abound for how to not mess up those sweet children of yours who may be keeping you awake, driving you nuts, rebelling against you at every turn, and so on.

So who decides what the ‘right’ way to parent is? How do you determine what is good for a child, a family – and often the least common denominator in the whole equation: you?

What if you and your children could actually decide that together? What if you know way more about what works for you and your family than any expert? And what if your children are actually the experts on themselves?

Here are 3 tools I have used that have totally changed my life as a mom.

Trust your gut

You know your children more intimately than anybody else! What may be good for one child may not be at all what is going to work for another child. You have an intuitive sense of your kids and your family that you may or may not be aware of.  What if you could just trust it?

There were so many moments early on when I overrode my intuition to trust what an expert had to say about parenting. This pretty much never panned out. The last parenting coach I worked with had so many opinions about my kids and what I should be doing that I finally got fed up and started listening to me. Every time I got on the phone with her, I found myself bracing against her words. When I finally decided to let go and trust me, the change I was looking for showed up almost instantly.

Empower your kids

Do you hover over your kids – making sure that they don’t mess up their bodies or their lives? Do you see your role as a parent being one of teacher and caretaker?  What if you could empower your kids to find out about the world by allowing them to make their own choices – and discover what happens next? When you allow your kids to explore the world in this way – you send them the message that they can be trusted to make choices for themselves. You also give them the gift of discovering life in a very different way than a lot of kids are given the space to. Your kids are experts on themselves. What if your job as a mom was to empower them to know that?

My youngest son was particularly fond of a certain swear word when he was quite young! I never told him not to say it, or that it was bad or wrong. I asked him questions like, “What would happen if you said that word at school? Or in front of grandma?”

He knew even at a young age that it would land him in the principal’s office or with a very unhappy grandmother on his hands… and he never, ever used it in those contexts.

Have fun, get help, and let it be easy

Parenting? Easy?!! For years, I thought that being a good mom was something I would earn by working, sacrificing, and struggling for my kids. There was one problem with all of that effort to prove how good I was – I hated it! When I realized that, I vowed to change it – no matter how ‘bad’ a mom I had to become as a result.  With limited income, I hired somebody to do everything I didn’t enjoy. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, school pick-ups, even homework. My business grew instantaneously, I got a lot happier, and I started to thoroughly enjoy these two amazing kids I have. Since then, I have always had more quality time with my kids than most parents ever get.  We have an extraordinarily ease-filled household, and we have a lot of fun together!

 

Are you willing to be so different as a parent that you do what truly works for you and your family? To me, the best parenting in the world is being present with your kids and facilitating them in navigating the world so they can find out who they are, and what works for them. If your family is enjoying themselves then you may have achieved what few people in the world actually have – and something I would propose is an aspect of great parenting: happiness.


Heather Nichols, MSW, is a bad mom, a movement and meditation consultant, tantra practitioner, somatic psychotherapist, entrepreneur and Being You Adventure Facilitator. She combines a master’s degree in Social Work with 20 years’ experience in the world of entrepreneurship and expertise in mind-body therapy to facilitate people toward a fuller, more joyful, experience of business, life and family. Follow @heatherknichols.


I’ve been writing Young Adult novels since my first baby was born fourteen years ago. Her arrival was the impetus for me to commit to writing after years of insisting that I’d get around to it ‘as soon as I have time’ (ironic, since her blanket disregard for sleep meant that I had less time than ever). But the desire to write Young Adult fiction in particular came earlier. I can trace it directly to a novel called Feeling Sorry For Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty, which I read in my mid-twenties. It’s about a teenager whose free-spirited best friend has run away from home. From aged fifteen I was in such a hurry to grow up – or to get away from my story-so-far. Feeling Sorry For Celia made me stop dead in my tracks and look over my shoulder. This is exactly what it was like, I remember thinking. I was transported by a clever, funny story back to those intense, rotten, mystifying years. The time in between had sharpened my focus and I felt inspired to examine what I’d been so keen to escape.

Since then I’ve produced Young Adult novels and babies at a rate of two-to-one, and I’m pleased to announce the birth of my fourth, I Am Out With Lanterns (I’ll explain the unusual name in a moment). This latest novel, created during my first-born’s early teenage years, turned my thoughts to the concept of narrative power. As a writer, I start out as the one in control – my characters in a scenario of my making – but more often than not, at some point in the process, that control feels as if it’s been wrested from my grasp. If you’re a writer, you’ll know what I mean – if you’ve parented a teenager, this might feel familiar to you, too.

Parents start out with the ultimate narrative power. We choose their name, dress them, decide what they’re going to eat (well, we give it a red-hot go), and direct them on how to behave. Say please. Don’t touch that. Thank you for this Playdoh cake, that’s so kind. Better not put that up your nose, actually. You’re a very good girl. Uh-uh, that’s not nice. We’re so busy directing, but can we remember what’s it like to be directed so intently? I distinctly remember one visit to the ice cream parlour with my parents and little brother. I was just tall enough to see all the flavours; my brother, a head shorter, bounced up and down beside me. Behind us, as we gazed through the glass, my parents discussed how original I was for always choosing pistachio. I do? I thought. Mature, they were saying. I am? Well, that sounded like something I should definitely think about continuing. I suppose I must have asked for pistachio once or twice before this visit, I couldn’t remember – as far as I was concerned, all ice cream was delicious. ‘Pistachio, please,’ I said. Deep down I was thinking, does this mean I’ll never be able to order chocolate? Eager to please, I wasn’t just ordering ice cream, I was fitting into an appealing narrative in which I got to be some kind of dessert sophisticate. While it looked like I was making a choice, my parents were writing my story.

Fast-forward to being the parent; kids aged 14 and 11. One of our favourite dinner-table conversations opens with one of them saying, “Tell us what we were like when we were little”. Of course they have their own store of childhood memories, but nothing like my jam-packed vault, nor the clarity or perspective. I tell them stories in which they are naughty, because it makes them laugh (that time you convinced me the cat was up the chimney). I tell them about things they’ve survived, because it makes them feel brave – (that time you got lost at a street festival; that time a child sank his teeth into both of your chubby arms at an indoor playcentre). In my stories they are resilient, hilarious, silly, the centre of every tale. They soak it all up. I’m the one with the narrative, and they’re the main characters.

When I started writing I Am Out With Lanterns it was about two teenage artists, one powerful portrait, and a girl who didn’t realise she was somebody’s muse. As a teenager I’d been fascinated by The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and I wanted to explore the idea of a portrait influencing feeling and behaviour during those intense years. I was thinking about the concept of a muse – what it would be like to have one, or be one. What if your dad was a painter, and all he ever painted was you? I was thinking about self-portraiture, too, and from there ‘selfies’, our use of Instagram, how we mock young girls for their poses, and call them vain; the way we catalogue our children’s early lives on social media and a blink later give them lectures about privacy and online safety.

Then, in June 2016, news stories were breaking about high-school students running social media accounts consisting of photos of girls – images that had perhaps been shared with a (now ex-) boyfriend, or ones that had been taken without permission. Experts commented that this was part of the ‘fun’ for the boys who took part: the stalking, the invasion. Some of the girls were still in primary school. ‘Likers’ were encouraged to vote for the ‘Slut of the Year’. After an investigation a few male students were expelled.

A remark in the comments section stuck with me. ‘Boys will be boys’, one father insisted. And I thought, this is the terrible narrative we start feeding them from day dot: that there is inevitability to boys being abusive and disrespectful towards girls. We write it off as ‘masculine hi-jinks’. It’s natural, we tell them. ‘Boys will be boys’, subtext: it’s the girls who need to be careful. Such casually given, heavily loaded phrases are slow-drip toxic.

In one of the newspaper reports, a mother commented: “I am still left with a little girl who is confused, who has had her innocence taken away from her and is embarrassed.” I couldn’t stop thinking about all of those girls – what terrible narrative they’d walked into, and how incapable we were as a culture of tackling the source of the problem.

From that moment I decided that I Am Out With Lanterns would be about how we all contribute to this toxicity. When someone says the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’ now, hackles get raised just as they are if you say ‘feminist’ in certain circles. However, the drive to detox is by no means anti-boy – and nor is my book. It’s about widening the definition for boys – just as we’ve been doing for women for decades and still strive for – and confronting those behaviours that cause harm. My second-born is a son, and if anything’s taught me that boys need protection from toxic masculinity as much as girls, it’s raising him.

Perhaps more importantly, I Am Out With Lanterns is also about where empowerment can be found – for the girls who need it, and for the boys who defy a more traditional definition of manliness. It’s a story about perspective, the incredible narrative power that we have over our children’s lives, and of the teenage years when they take over. It’s about claiming, or reclaiming, yourself. As Frida Kahlo put it: being your own muse.

Who will read my book? I should think girls and women will, and that’s okay, for now. The book is pink, and we have a long way to go.

I promised to explain the unusual name. It’s taken from a letter written by the poet Emily Dickinson in 1855. She was writing to explain her feelings of displacement on moving house – being an anxious, home-loving sort of person. I am out with lanterns, looking for myself, she wrote to a friend. To me, it’s a perfect fit for Young Adult literature, capturing that time in your life when you’ve wriggled free from your narrator, walked bravely across the page, and turned it over to begin your next chapter.


Emily Gale has been involved in the children’s book industry for twenty years: as an editor, freelance writer, literary agent and children’s book buyer. Emily’s writing includes Eliza Bloom’s Diary (2014), Girl, Aloud (2009), Steal My Sunshine (2013), The Other Side of Summer (2016) and I Am Out with Lanterns (2018). In 2017 The Other Side of Summer was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Aurealis Awards.


Being a mum and an entrepreneur can be thrilling, fulfilling and a way to really have the best of both worlds. Yet, as any mumpreneur will tell you, it can sometimes feel as if you’re going a bit crazy, trying to juggle it all, taking care of so many people, working crazy hours and trying to do it all.

Here are five pragmatic tips to stay sane in the midst of all the chaos:

Indulge (briefly) in insanity

Sometimes the best way to stay sane is to have the freedom to indulge any emotion. Find someone to watch the kids for an hour, go for a walk, lock yourself in the bathroom, or call a friend and ask them if it’s ok to just vent. If you are sharing with someone, let them know they don’t need to fix anything for you; you just need a safe place to let some stuff out. Give yourself permission to feel and let out whatever you’ve been holding in. Allow yourself to be angry, sad, to scream, cry, or go crazy. Often, you’ll find you’re over it before you’ve even begun. When we resist or suppress things, they fester and create problems down the line.

Done is better than perfect

We could all drive ourselves crazy trying to be perfect and get everything just right. Acknowledge that you can either keep working and reworking everything (both job wise and parenting wise) or you can get it done and move on. There is no such thing as perfect. The quest for perfection will only keep you in endless amounts of judgment and stop you from creating. Do your best and know that it is far better than you realise anyway! If you find yourself obsessing over tiny details, ask yourself: “will this matter in five year’s time?” If not, choose to let it go.

Be willing to be a “bad mum”

Are you looking from the outside in at what others judge as good or bad qualities in a parent? If it hasn’t already, this will drive you crazy! Trust in you and your children to let you know what works for your family and be willing to get it ‘wrong.’ There will always be people passing judgements. But if you’re willing to be seen as a bad mum, you have the space and allowance for yourself to be you and find out what works and doesn’t work. This will teach your kids it’s okay to be yourself too, no matter what anyone else thinks!

Include your kids in your business

Rather than setting the stage for your kids to resent your work and see it as ‘the thing that takes mum away from me’, let them know what you’re up to. No matter how young they are, you can give them information about why you are spending time away from them. Young kids can understand phrasing such as, “Mum is going on this trip in order to make money so we can buy you toys and yummy food.” As they grow older you can give them more information about what things cost and give them ideas of how they can value money, and start to make their own money too!

Ask your kids if they can contribute to making work tasks easy for you. For example, “Can you play quietly while I make this phone call and then we can go outside and play together?” Oftentimes being fully present and engaged with your children for a short period of time allows them to relax. Then they can more easily accept, and respect, your working hours.

Don’t pretend you’re not a mother

Lets face it, your kids will always be your number one priority. If they need you, you will be there for them. Taking care of them when they’re sick, hurt, or going to a special event with them, is part of what’s required for you to stay sane. There’s nothing more distracting than trying to work when your kids are tugging at you (energetically, emotionally, or physically) So be upfront with your colleagues and clients. Let them know what’s going on, without oversharing.

You’d be surprised how understanding people can be if you just let them into your world a little bit. And if they’re not… maybe you don’t want to be working with them!


Lauren Marie is a Joy of Business facilitator, acupuncturist, entrepreneur and mother of twins. She travels worldwide, facilitating classes and changing her clients’ point of view about life, health and business. Born on the outskirts of Washington D.C., Lauren now lives on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. A passionate creator and conscious rule-breaker, Lauren seeks to inspire other mothers to see the possibilities others overlook and to embrace every challenge and choice that parenthood brings. www.meetlaurenmarie.com


If you were to ask any parent what they wants their children to be when they grow up, you’d likely hear something along the lines of “independent and happy.” All parents want the best for their kids, and that usually means wanting them to grow into adults who are thriving in lives and careers they can be proud of.

Nearly everything that parents do for their kids, from early childhood to young adulthood, has this goal in mind. This is where the term “preprofessional” comes into play.

We use this term at our camps and programs to describe children with a healthy balance of three essential requirements for an independent, happy life: experience, education, and attitude. “Preprofessional” goes beyond labeling children and teenagers as students, acknowledging the many facets they may have: athlete, home cook, enthusiastic networker, budding scientist, future entrepreneur, and countless other titles.

Developing a preprofessional mindset early on is important for children. They might already know the basics of what’s expected of them in the future, but they deserve a helping hand.

Mums (and dads!) play a big role here. Parents can help their children begin to think about how the things they discover or enjoy today could have a real impact on them in their adult life. While previous generations had more traditional careers, Gen-Z’ers are growing up in a different world — they crave independence, professional growth, and meaningful work.

The skills they will need to be successful as a college student and preprofessional will be different from the skills that their parents or grandparents needed, so exposing them to these skills early and seeing what they naturally gravitate toward really matters.

Turning a Child Into a Preprofessional

As you parent your preprofessional children, put the following tips into play to get them thinking the right way:

1. Explain how your child’s experiences are preparing him or her for the future.

Even an experience like babysitting the neighbors’ kids or volunteering at a community group’s event is a chance to develop people skills, use good judgment, and tackle challenges, but don’t assume your child knows that — to your child, it might just seem like a way to make some extra money or spend an afternoon.

Give them insider knowledge. You might say, “Remember how you calmed down the Smiths’ toddler when he was upset that his parents left for the night? Understanding and solving a problem like that can be difficult, but you showed real skill there — and that’s going to be essential to nearly every job opportunity in your future.” If you’ve had a similar experience at your own job and can relate, even better. Encourage these kinds of discussions while you have your child’s ear, being transparent as to why you wish you had been able to see things so clearly when you were his or her age.

2. Let them experience new things at their own pace.

What happens when you push an idea on your children? Often, they want nothing to do with it (and may resent you for pushing so hard). Practicing preprofessionalism should take place in a relaxed, organic way so your child feels free to explore many different interests and strengths. From summer camps to guitar lessons, make it a priority to find out what interests
your child, and allow discovery to occur.

That said, don’t expect every avenue to be “the one” for your child’s future. Plant seeds here and there, and see which sprout. Not all the seeds will take root; that’s to be expected. If you send your child to coding camp, and he comes back without an ounce of interest in computer programming, it was still worth the experience. Exposure is the goal, not proficiency. Be patient, viewing this as a journey you’re supporting, not a destination with a deadline.

3. Approach learning proactively.

Ask any educator, and he or she will almost inevitably tell you there’s a lot of back-end work that goes into the activities created for students. The same goes for learning at home. If you approach learning activities halfheartedly, they might not resonate with your children.

However, if you plan these activities deliberately and proactively, there’s a much higher chance your kids will connect with them and get excited about them. For instance, instead of deciding on a whim to go to the art museum, take the outing to the
next level by looking up what’s on display and asking your kids to seek and find certain paintings. Preprofessionalism doesn’t come out of nowhere; it happens because you make it happen.

4. Go into new experiences with your head held high.

In no thesaurus is “new” synonymous with “scary,” but sometimes, it’s easy to feel that way—and that goes for kids and adults alike. However, this attitude teaches kids to fear the unknown rather than explore (and conquer) it.

Parents are in the perfect position to model behavior that doesn’t back away from new experiences. The next time you’re out to eat, try a dish that’s new to you, and encourage your child to taste it, too. When you’re at the neighborhood pool, a school function, or your tennis club, introduce yourself and your child to new faces. Learn phrases in new languages, read books together on a subject you know nothing about — the possibilities are endless! Eventually, your children will be leading the way, forging their own paths to new discoveries — and new passions.

Right now is a fun, exciting time to be a parent, and it’s never too early to treat your child like the independent person he or she will be someday. The world will demand more from this generation than any before it, so make sure your kids are ready to rise to the occasion.

 

Steve Robertson is the CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs (JKCP), an organization specializing in youth-to-adult programming that turns curiosity into passion and skill. Steve has been with the company for 18 years. In this role, his primary responsibility is to cultivate a culture that results in memories lasting a lifetime.


It’s almost Christmas, meaning a lot of presents, and also new video games to play. Many parents simply assume that video games are for children, so as long as you limit their time, that’s enough. I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case.

Let’s take one of last year’s biggest releases on PS4, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V). I know of many parents who bought this for their children following bouts of begging and “everyone else has it” and “it’s a really fun game”. I wonder how many parents realise that the game is R-rated for strong impact language and nudity, and high-impact violence, drug-use and sex? I can also testify to a highly disturbing torture scene.

Then there’s Metal Gear Solid V (MGS V), one of the most highly anticipated releases of this year. I have no doubt many parents also bought this game at the behest of their children. This is also rated R in Australia for high-impact themes and violence, with some bad language, sex and nudity. It also contains a scene with attempted rape.

Would you let your 8-year-old child watch a show like Game of Thrones or a movie like Kill Bill? If the answer is ‘no’, then you should really be looking at the games your children play as well.

I want to clarify, I’m not saying mature games should be banned. Games are made for all ages, just like movies and TV shows. Would you let your 8-year-old child watch a show like Game of Thrones or a movie like Kill Bill? If the answer is ‘no’, then you should really be looking at the games your children play as well.

So, how can you know what your children are playing, and whether they’re age-appropriate? Here are some basic steps every parent should be taking.

1. Read the rating

I can’t stress this enough. Australia has one of the strictest rating systems – the R-rating for games has only been introduced in the past few years (previously, they were refused classification and couldn’t be sold in Australia). Your first course of action should always be to look at the rating and see if it’s appropriate for your child.

If you’re not sure, look at the reasons why the game has that rating. It could be for bad language, or strong violence. Perhaps you feel your child is mature enough to handle such content, and that is your call as their parent. But if your 10-year-old is begging you for (or playing) an MA or R-rated game, that should set off alarm bells immediately.

2. Read reviews of the game

Reviews will generally give you a decent idea of the content of a game, and can be read in under 5 minutes. Read a selection of reviews, as many will cover different aspects or themes. A simple search for “[Game name] review” will give you a multitude of sites. Most won’t tell you outright if the game is suitable for children, but you should be able to form your own opinion from the descriptions and screenshots.

For example, if the reviewer states they loved the open world where you can do anything from wandering around and seeing the sights to robbing people at gunpoint and beating them up, the latter might alert you that you might not want your child playing this game.

IGN, Polygon, Gamespot, Kotaku, and Gamesradar are just a handful of the large, reputable sites that review games. There are a lot of resources out there, so use them well!

3. Watch your child play and talk to them about it

I know, this takes a lot of time you might not have. But beyond the rating and reviews, the most foolproof way is to put aside an hour or so while your child is on the console or computer and watch them play the game. See for yourself what’s happening in-game. Ask your child how they feel about events that happen as you watch. Ask what parts of the game they enjoy the most, and the least. Ask them why.

Ask your child how they feel about events that happen as you watch. Ask what parts of the game they enjoy the most, and the least. Ask them why.

Younger children, especially, are more than happy to share the things they love with their parents, and games are no exception. You might even find that although a particular game is rated MA, you have no problem with your young child playing it because of their level of maturity.

That said, it’s also worthwhile popping your head in every now and again to see what else is going on. Many blockbuster games have in excess of 40-50 hours of content (many have over 100 hours!) so the snapshot you see may not be representative of the entire game. Keep checking in, and make the effort to talk to your child first if you see any content you find objectionable.

4. Check for online multiplayer

So you’ve concluded that you’re happy for your child to play a particular video game. But there’s one more aspect, usually overlooked, that you should keep an eye out for. Online multiplayer means that the game can be played with others online. If the feature is available, it’s usually alongside the single-player part of the game, so you may not even be aware there is an online section. And believe me, it pays to find out.

 There is generally no curation for online multiplayer – your child will be playing with whoever happens to be on the same server.

There is generally no curation for online multiplayer – your child will be playing with whoever happens to be on the same server. Yes, that includes teens and adults, some (okay, many) of whom may be using bad language and sexual innuendo in abundance. It’s not just limited to the older age group, either. Many have had run-ins with 10 to 13 year-olds who insult them, swear at them, or – for females – ask them to show their boobs (which is, amazingly, on the less offensive end of the scale).

I’m not saying you need to set a complete ban. But you should be aware if the game has online multiplayer functionality, and whether your child is in that environment. Most Nintendo games, such as Splatoon, create a relatively safe space for kids. But that’s not always the case, and you should always be keeping an eye on what your child is up to online.

(Also, if you discover you’re the parent of one of those foul-mouthed, sexually harassing children, I beg of you to discipline them, and well. In this case, the complete ban is a good option.)

Do you have any tips for keeping an eye on what your children are playing? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!