Is Roblox safe for kids? What is the appropriate age to play?
A parent review on Roblox and how safe it is for kids and teens in 2022
September 21, 2022
WHAT IS ROBLOX?
Roblox, like Minecraft, is an open-world game in which users create worlds and interact with other users online. The player can enter into other people’s worlds, play games published by other users, or create their own games and settings for other users to explore.
Inside the game there are restrictions on certain functions (more on that later) and tight parent controls. Good news for that! Read on to understand more about Roblox’s account restrictions, age suggestions, and our final conclusions about the safety of Roblox.
HOW IS ROBLOX DIFFERENT FROM MINECRAFT?
As far as yours truly can tell, Roblox differs from Minecraft in that the content being created is for a more mature child. I am constantly hearing other parents asking, “is Minecraft dangerous?.., what age is good for Minecraft?..,” etc.. The playground chat around Roblox is usually “for teenagers!” Hint: Minecraft, okay for kids, with restrictions…for more on that read our article about Minecraft.
IS ROBLOX SAFE FOR CHILDREN?
The million dollar question… Every parent has their own ideas of what is safe, age-appropriate, what calculated risks pay off, what is to gain and what is to lose. The one unifier on this point is that each parent should research before deciding. In this article we are outlining some of the potential risks facing young users and provide a brief guide to parent controls inside the game.
HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO PLAY ROBLOX?
The game is considered relatively safe for 13+ but as you know much younger children are playing it. Roblox has often been reported to host user content that is violent or sexually explicit. It seems that Roblox is committed to actively removing such content but we all know how that goes (or sometimes doesn’t…)
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Because of the anonymous nature of gaming platforms, children are vulnerable to abuse and solicitation from predators. Despite growing awareness, this problem persists. For children under 13 it is highly recommended to set strong restrictions with parental controls and monitor their online gaming sessions.
When certain functions are disabled those risks go down. Chatrooms and peer-to-peer chat is not available for users under 13, and parents of older children should still stay extremely vigilant of who their children are communicating with online.
RESEARCH AND STAY UP-TO-DATE
Like any other major issues concerning one’s children, I highly recommend doing some research. There are many great resources and forums for parents to access when navigating this new confusing aspect of raising children in the internet age. Do what you believe is right for your family and your child, and use healthy discretion when referring to the opinions of others.
If you do decide to allow your children on the platform, ensure continuous monitoring of their use and interactions with other users. Keep your ear to the ground on what your children and their peers are discussing about new trends inside the game. Ask your child questions about their experiences inside the platform. And ALWAYS use controls to tailor your child’s experience as you deem appropriate.
USING PRIVACY SETTINGS AND PARENTAL CONTROLS
Roblox, like Minecraft, can still provide plenty of hours of play even under the strictest restrictions. Inside their Settings menu, parents can disable functions such as chatrooms and peer-to–peer chat, messaging, and prevent their accounts from being searched by phone number (please do this immediately!)
Now to put on the seatbelt and helmet. Likely your child is already on the platform at this point. Enter into the Settings Menu inside the Roblox app and follow the steps below to set restrictions you deem appropriate for your child.
1/ Once in Settings, enter Account Info screen
2/ Enter and verify the parent email
3/ Return to Settings and enter the Privacy screen.
4/ Toggle on Account Restrictions
5/ Return to Privacy menu and scroll down to find Other Setting
6/ Set your restrictions as you deem appropriate for your child
1/ Return to the Settings Menu inside the Roblox app.
2/ Enable the Parent PIN. Use a new PIN.
3/ Under Monthly Spend Restrictions place the desired limit on their shopping account.
4/ Review other functions and set as you see fit
REVIEW YOUR PASSWORDS AND PINS
Pick passcodes your children DO NOT KNOW. Every parent knows their PINs and passwords are quickly discovered when screens come into play. Children are often more tech-savvy than their parents and can find ways around settings or passwords.
And protect that credit card too! because as many parents can attest, SHOPPING is also a big part of Roblox and Minecraft alike. Inside the shop, players can purchase Robux (Roblox personal coins) for cash. Robux are used to purchase content from other creators such as games, worlds, and personalisations for avatars. And YES, your kids will be asking to buy them!
TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT ONLINE SAFETY
Most importantly in the responsibility of keeping your child safe online, talk to your children. The goal is not to scare them! Be honest in an age-appropriate manner that interacting with strangers onlines can be risky. Continue to revisit the subject often. As they mature, they will develop a healthy awareness of online safety.
Online gaming is not going anywhere anytime soon, so parents should use the opportunity as a teaching moment. Our children are quite smart! They can be trusted if they are given the right information. The goal of early education is for our children to mature enough to be trusted with these decisions themselves.
BUILDING HEALTHY SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Gaming (as many parents can attest) can be a perfectly normal (but maybe not productive) hobby for young adults. As a parent, set reasonable time limits and stipulations over their gaming/online time. Ensure their time online does not impact their schoolwork, family connections, household responsibilities, or activities levels.
For children and families that are already connecting through online gaming, keep a few points in mind as your child grows up in tandem with gaming culture. Of prime importance for those connecting online; the majority of children’s social connections should come from in-life and face-to-face interactions with peers (their same age!) After a very long and isolating couple years, we must actively work to reintegrate physical and social connections in our children’s lives.
Soooo. YES/NO!? MAYBE… kinda safe. I won’t be allowing Roblox for a few more years in my house (despite requests). Every family must make those judgments individually, however I would strongly recommend doing a lot of research before deciding. Like other forms of online media, parents must be active in setting controls and continuously monitoring what your child is consuming online.
With vigilance, games like Roblox and Minecraft can be a perfectly safe kids game for younger children. Disable chat and messaging functions and ensure that their account settings keep their world closed to other users and they cannot access other users’ worlds. Continue to educate your children about safety online and periodically review your own knowledge as well.
Open-world building games can provide a lot of benefits for children. It can stretch their imaginations, improve their understanding of geometry and space, and give young people a space to feel confident and expressive. To some this reward is worth the risks. Early intervention by parents can help children develop a healthy, appropriate relationship with gaming online and the culture that comes with it.
LINKS AND OTHER RESOURCES
Find some more resources below.
You may also be interested in...
Minecraft is an open-world building game that seems to creep into every aspect of life when you have a child.