Be In The Know About Pokémon Go: 5 Tips For Parents

Kids Give 5 Tips For Parents

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard of the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. It’s the mobile game that lets you see and catch little creatures called Pokémon through your phone’s camera as if they really exist. 

If it seems like this craze happened over night, you’re right. Since this month’s launch, it’s estimated that there are 9.5 million active users per day! If your kid is one of them, you may feel out of the loop and confused about Pokéstops, gyms, potions, lures, and other words you’ve never heard before. So I asked my 11 and 13 year olds what parents need to know to be in the know. Hopefully this helps you evolve on the game’s knowledge. (that’s a Pokémon joke, so…).

1 - Trainer: This is your kid. 

As a Pokémon trainer, they catch wild Pokémon, make them more powerful, and then battle other Pokémon trainers (through the app, not in real life) to take over rival gyms. To catch Pokémon, they have to walk or run around, a major advantage over traditional video games which keep them glued to the couch.

2 - Pokémon are creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the wild. 

They evolve into stronger Pokémon. There are 150 species of Pokémon in the game. The ones you find on the sidewalk outside your house are considered weak. So if your kids ask to go to a local gas station it’s because they can find a very rare “fire” Pokémon there. Maybe plan your errands around a Pokémon hunt. That’s a win-win right there.

3 - Gyms are where the battles and training take place. 

They’re typically located in real-life notable places, and in the app they appear as tall, colorful towers. Players have to catch enough Pokémon to make it to level 5 before entering a gym. 

4 - Pokéstops are where you go to load up on Pokéballs, potions, eggs, and other super important items you’ve never heard of. 

Trainers need these items to catch Pokémon and keep them healthy. In the app, they show up as a floating cube; click on it to see what the exact location is. In real life they’ll be public places like parks and retail stores. So double up at Target for some Pokéballs and back-to-school supplies.

5 - Lures are meant to… you guessed it… lure Pokémon. 

Dropping a lure will bring Pokémon to your area for 30 minutes. You can buy lures with in-game tokens. That said, be cautious about visiting Pokéstops with lures. While it’s really fun and can create a sense of community (or frenzy) as kids gather together to catch monsters, there have been reports of robbers using Pokémon lures to bait victims. Sad but true.

Pokémon Go isn’t going to get your kids’ faces out of their screens, but it will get their butts off the couch. That alone is a good enough reason to embrace the madness. There are only 5 weeks of summer left, so get outside with the kids, explore, and catch ‘em all!

If you or your kids have other great Pokémon Go tips, please share them here!