COPE Corner for Parents

Published on February 17th, 2022 at 4:58 PM

Be a COPE Parent

Listen to your Kid

Learn from your Kid

Game with your Kid

Bond with your Kid

Coalition of Parents in Esports, created by parents of professional gamers & influencers, is a 501c3 nonprofit empowering youth, parents, & educators to leverage gaming & the metaverse to build confidence, curiosity, community, & careers through programs and scholarships.
COPE's Vision: Revolutionizing parenting by validating effective screen time.

The founding parents of COPE have had a unique perspective of the value of esports for youth success through their own children who have excelled in professional esports. Like any parent they were initially skeptical of too much screen time and too little contact with grass. The media has spent 30 years telling us that screen time is bad, that games make kids anti-social, and that some may even make them violent. Reputable studies have debunked all these myths, yet the fear remains. Parents are criticized and guilted for allowing our kids to game. Relationships between parent and child are strained as they battle over time spent at a console or PC. Kids feel misunderstood, and the digital divide between parents and gamers widens.

COPE advocates for breaking that unhealthy cycle. Online gaming today really is more than playing video games in your parent’s basement. Our kids are embracing the technology of their generation and learning how to make it work for them for fun, sport, and connection. Instead of trying to limit what they enjoy, COPE strives to help parents embrace it and work with their children to ensure they get the most out of their experiences. Just like any social group or activity, there is always the possibility of negative interactions, but with parent involvement, children will be equipped to face those challenges and will be confident to ask you, their parents, for help and guidance.

We encourage listening to your child, engaging in their online social world, and spectating their games. We highly encourage playing games with them. With adequate equipment, planned schedules and skilled coaching, gamers learn resilience, team building, strategy, and time management just like any sport. Most importantly they build bonds with like minded peers and even with parents when we support their activities and demonstrate our pride in their achievements.

Esports Fact: The ecosystem around online gaming teaches valuable behaviors that go beyond being exceptional at a video game. Kids are learning marketable business skills like networking, marketing and accounting. While very few will reach the upper echelons of pro gaming, many will find other interests in the gaming and metaverse communities that might shape their education and career paths. Esports is an exploding industry with varied careers in financial, legal, technical, medical, creative spaces, and many other exciting opportunities.

Esports Fact: 80% of kids currently involved in esports programs through their schools or communities would have not participated in any other extracurricular activity. The benefits of participation in school sports are well-known for the mental and physical development of our youth. Esports is reaching kids previously excluded from these important developmental experiences.

Esports Fact: It is a sport with practice and tournaments. Print and post schedules. Plan tournaments with adequate rest, nutrition, and practice.

Esports Fact: Fitness is important! Like any sport, physical and mental strength and endurance is critical for success. Any good program will include and encourage daily workouts and mind exercises to improve your game. Ensure your child learns that peak physical and mental health is key to success and protection against injury. All that time sitting and doing repetitive motions will take a toll. COPE has wellness partner resources with free videos and programs.

Esports Fact: Passion is good. We expect inside voices when playing video games, but we yell and woop right along with them on a sports field. Managing anger is a learned skill that improves their performance, but don’t get angry at their passion for wanting to do their best. Provide punch pillows or squishy balls to let off anger AND to protect controllers, headsets, and even screens!

Esports Fact: Twitter, Discord and Twitch allow parents too. Get on board. COPE will show you how. Keeping your kids safe and getting the most out of experiences means being present, in the physical world and virtual worlds. Get involved, but don't hover. Teens learn best when we are the backbone behind them, not the shield in front of them.

So, as a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent, what can you do? Get involved. Take the opportunity to let your kids teach you about their favorite games, their favorite platforms and their favorite pros and streamers. Yes, we know they might try to gate keep you. When did that ever stop you? It shouldn’t here either. Get to know their online friends just like you would their school friends. Learn enough to spectate and cheer their tournaments. COPE feels that when parents learn how much their children benefit from healthy, fun and interactive gaming, esports will truly become the next big thing. Your kids are already there. Join them and enjoy it together! Join Coalition of Parents in Esports and let us help you. It’s free and fun.