Does your child want to build a gaming computer? If so, it’s understandable to have some reservations at first. No parent wants their kid sitting around all day playing video games.
However, the process of building a gaming computer will teach your child valuable life skills and lessons that can’t be duplicated from other hobbies.
Here, we’ll outline the benefits of allowing your son or daughter to build their own PC.
Choosing compatible components, assembling a computer, and setting it up is definitely a doable task for kids as young as 10-12 years old. However, it will also challenge your child and help learn some valuable skills and traits.
In this post, I will outline nine different aspects of building a computer that will teach your child a unique skill or lesson.
1. Building a PC Helps You Learn How to Budget
Learning how to budget is an essential life skill for children of all ages. There are plenty of adults out there that could you a lesson in budgeting as well. To correctly build a gaming computer, your child needs to buy a number of different components that work together to form a completed PC.
Whether you are providing them with money for this venture or if they are funding the project themselves, the first step is to create and establish a manageable budget.
Once the budget gets established your child will have to research the various parts and components that will work within their budget. The price range of building a PC varies significantly based on how much performance you want. On the low end, a decent entry-level gaming computer can be built for ~$400 or so.
The big challenge in choosing parts comes in trying to pick parts that balance each other. We have pre-made part lists for various budgets in the following guides:
- Building an Affordable Gaming Computer (Under $800)
- Building a High-End Gaming Computer (Between $1,000-$2,000)
These part-lists cover everything you need to build a computer. (The price of the operating system is not included, but it is bundled together with the parts.)
Ultimately, learning to stay within a budget is an important and necessary life skill. If your child is paying for the computer with their money, it will also help teach them the value of a dollar.
These skills can translate into budgeting their weekly grocery allowances as they grow into an adult, or even assist them in their careers if they manage the budget for a department within their company.
2. Building a PC Helps You With Problem Solving Skills
While building a computer is not as hard as it sounds, you can definitely run into some issues during the building process that will need troubleshooting. However, learning how to properly and effectively solve problems is another essential life skill.
A lot of times, first-time builders don’t assemble the computer properly or fail to push the components all the way into their slots. In these cases, the computer won’t turn on and there usually isn’t any easy way to know what is wrong.
Fortunately, most mistakes are fairly common and have already been made (and corrected) by a bunch of others who have also built their own computers.Because of this, your child may end up haveing to search on Google in order to find articles from experts who have built similar systems from scratch, or they can even join a forum where they ask questions and get advice from other users who experienced similar issues.
Because of this, your child may end up haveing to search on Google in order to find articles from experts who have built similar systems from scratch, or they can even join a forum where they ask questions and get advice from other users who experienced similar issues.
We also have a huge guide on the 31 most common mistakes that first-time builders make, that will give you a really good idea on what to avoid while building a computer with your kid.
Ultimately, building a PC is a great way for your child to learn problem-solving skills. And, learning how to solve problems will teach your son or daughter how to fight through adversity.
3. Building a PC Teaches You Patience
Buying a pre-built computer is easy. You go to the store, pay the money, go home and turn it on. Sure, you may have to go through a startup process where you configure your settings and personal preferences; but for the most part, the computer is ready to go.
Building your own computer is a completely different experience. The building process takes time nd effort, which will test the patience of your child.
Building a computer from scratch can take hours or sometimes significantly longer. Between schoolwork, sports, and other activities, this could mean it takes your child days before the project gets complete.
However, in the end, the reward of the final product will feel that much better for them, knowing they built their computer on their own.
4. Building a PC Helps You Follow Directions
Every step of building a computer requires the ability to follow precise instructions. There are many guides out there on how to build a computer (including ours), but there is a general step-by-step process that your kid needs to adhere by to complete the project.
To find these instructions takes some initiative on their part. They will need to do the necessary research to determine what kind of computer they want to build, find out what parts are required for it, get the parts, and learn how to piece them all together.
Looking at an instructional guide for building a gaming PC may look overwhelming at first. The steps are detailed and not necessarily as simple “plug the green wire in here.” With the help of your motherboards manual and a good step-by-step PC building guide, your child (and you, if you are going to help them) will have to navigate the building process on their own.
Learning to follow directions will help them in other aspects of their life as well. If they can learn how to build a computer while following instructions then they can probably learn how to build anything else that comes with instructions.
5. Building a PC Helps You Understand Computer Technology
Unless you are a computer expert or work in the technology field, chances are you won’t understand over half the terminology used during the research and instruction process of building a computer. Older generations are not as tech savvy as your children. They already have a leg up on you when it comes to these terms, but they still have plenty more to learn during this building process.
Computers are everywhere; they are in every household, business, car, and nearly everyone walks around with a small handheld computer in their pocket. Understanding the components of these devices and knowing how they work together is an important skill to have in the 21st century. It also gives your child an advantage over other people who are not as tech-savvy.
The skills that they learn while building a computer can translate into giving them a head start in the classroom if they take a course in a similar or related field. It can also give them an edge over their peers in the workplace if they are applying for a job where they can put their talents to use.
It’s important for humans to learn and adapt to their environments, and our environment today is much different than it was in the past. Hundreds of years ago, children needed to learn how to hunt, fish, and make fires. Today, we live in a technologically advanced society where the emphasis of computers and relying on them for day-to-day needs continues to rise. Understanding how these systems works is an asset for your child and their future.
6. Building a PC Boosts Your Self Confidence
There is no better feeling than completing a difficult task. When your kid finishes building their first computer, they will feel great about themselves. It teaches them that they can do anything that they set their mind to if they put the effort in. The accomplished feeling is intoxicating, and I’m sure they will want to experience it again. Once they finish this project, they will start looking for other tasks that will give them a similar sensation of reward.
(It also doesn’t hurt that after successfully building their own computer, they can actually start the most fun part: playing games on it!)
Being confident in yourself is important for everyone, but it is especially important for children. People who lack confidence tend to be shy, timid, or hesitant to try new things or attempt something that may seem difficult. Chances are that your son or daughter already has some confidence if they are attempting to build a computer, but completing the project reinforced what they already believed in.
The mind is powerful and believing in yourself is half the battle when it comes to most tasks. If kids tell themselves that they can do well on a test, perform well in sports, learn to play a musical instrument, or get a job, they already have an advantage in that given scenario.
7. You’ll Learn How to Build a Computer and Save Money!
Buying a new pre-built computer online or from the store is expensive. For simple computers with basic functions, it may be more practical to buy something. However, gaming computers have specific needs and tend to be significantly more expensive. If your kid builds their own gaming PC, it will save you (or them) some money by avoiding having to pay the high markup costs associated with pre-built computers.
The money saving aspect of building a computer goes far beyond the concept of it being cheaper than buying one. Knowing the ins and outs of a computer system will help save money in the future as well. If your computer is not performing well or has a problem, taking it to a service center is costly. These places can charge you hundreds of dollars to fix something that will take them five minutes with little to no materials.
Let’s compare a computer to the engine of your car. If your check engine light goes on, you don’t look under the hood yourself unless you have experience working on cars. So instead, you bring it to the mechanic and get charged $500 so they can reconnect a loose wire. Computers are the same way. Instead of buying a new computer or paying a fortune to fix it, sometimes all it needs is a loose wire to get reconnected.
Building a computer will save your kid some money initially, but also save them money in the long run. Plus, you’ll have someone to fix your computer too whenever something goes wrong with it!
8. Building a PC Can Spark an Interest in Technology
Even at a young age, building a gaming PC can get your son or daughter interested in technology. After they finish this project, they may become more apt to build more computers or complete similar tasks within the technology field. Building a computer could be the catalyst that launches their career as a computer programmer or getting a job in IT.
If they realize that they enjoy working on computers, they can go to college and get a degree in a related field. Technology is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and there is no shortage of jobs that involve building, working on, or programming computers.
These careers typically have high paying salaries due to their complex nature. Companies are willing to pay top dollar to people who have skills that most people don’t. Allowing your kid to build their first gaming computer could be the reason that they go to a great college, study technology, and land a top job in the industry.
9. Building a PC Teaches You Responsibility
Your son or daughter needs to be responsible if they are going to build a gaming computer. The parts and components cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and if they don’t follow assembly instructions thoroughly, or they handle the computer parts carelessly, they could end up costing themselves (or you) a significant amount of money.
Once the project is complete, they also need to take care of their new computer. Taking care of a computer includes proper maintenance and keeping it out of harm’s way. Trusting your children with a piece of equipment that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars may not be an easy task, but it could also serve as a valuable lesson in responsibility.
If you do choose to support your child in building their own computer, just make sure that they understand the magnitude of the situation if something were to happen to their newly built gaming computer.
Learning responsibility is obviously another important life lesson that your child will use in their future. They will be responsible for other expensive possessions such as a cell phone or other electronics and eventually a car.
Although you might flinch at first when your child asks you to build their own gaming PC, you should strongly consider the benefits that come with their request. Learning how to build a computer is not an easy task and will teach them plenty of other life skills and lessons before, during, and after the project gets completed.
Building a computer will familiarize your kid with how to budget, it will help them gain valuable problem-solving skills, it will teach them patience, and it will help them learn how to follow instructions. It will also help them understand computer technology, which can lead to an interest in related areas and fields. They can learn all of these traits while boosting their self-confidence, learning responsibility, and saving them (or you) some money.