Pokémon....what?! The new gaming craze has gone viral virtually overnight, drawing in millions of players—many of them kids and teens. Here are some important tips to be mindful of (and to discuss with your kids) as they're navigating the new world of Pokémon Go and augmented reality.
- Be aware of your (actual) surroundings. It’s easy for kids and teens to get caught up in the excitement of looking for Pokémon. . . and forget to notice cars, curbs, even trees. Encourage your kids to remain aware of the physical world. If they spot a Pokémon, STOP to catch it. Then move on.
- Take advantage of reality. It’s summer—the perfect season to enjoy outdoor activities with your kids. Even if it’s Pokémon that’s motivating your kids to get out there and explore their surroundings, take the opportunity to join them—and encourage them to put down their phones for some good old-fashioned family fun.
- Use common sense. It goes without saying, but is worth emphasizing to your kids: don’t let an on-the-loose Pokémon lead you into unsafe or remote areas. Criminals targeting Pokémon Go users for theft have already been reported—and kids are especially vulnerable.
- Don’t Pokémon and drive. In Minnesota, it's illegal to text or send electronic messages while driving. But teens have been known to bend the rules now and then. Remind teen drivers to keep safe driving top-of-mind—and lead by example.
- Enjoy! Want to bond with your kids in the digital age? Download Pokémon Go yourself. It’s not just for kids, after all, and it’ll open up new opportunities for spending quality time together.
Download Pokémon Go for Android here or Apple here.