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How Parents Can Manage Kids’ Video Game Obsession

 

 

These days, children playing video games at any time is a typical scene in any household. Games can be played using computers, TV, mobile devices and consoles. You seldom see children playing outside anymore. It seems that jump rope, hopscotch or hide and seek aren’t as fun as building (or destroying) kingdoms, killing zombies or stealing cars.

Children can never seem to get enough of these games and could play the whole day if given a chance. They lose track of time and may even forget to eat or drink.

It’s scary for parents to see their kids fade away into the virtual world, so here are some tips on how you can manage your kids’ video game obsession.

Set clear rules and guidelines with your kids

There’s no standard formula on how to set rules for all children because there’s always a different approach for each of them. Sit your kids down and talk about your rules like you’re having a meeting, not like you’re announcing martial law. You’ll be talking about their time, so they have a say with the final decisions.

Both parents should be involved and implement the rules. If one of you will be the police and the other one a lawyer, you will surely have little lawbreakers in the house. Learn more about the games your kids play at www.gamingguidetips.com so that you know which games you can approve or not.

You can use the following approach to video games policy:

1. The “Reward” Approach

How Parents Can Manage Kids’ Video Game Obsession

This approach simply means that your kids will be given a game time when they do something right or good. Say, you allow them to have screen time for an hour every day, then they earn extra half hour if they wash the dishes or clean their room or extra fifteen minutes if they take the trash out. You’ll see that you’ll come home to a clean and clutter free house. Of course, this can be dangerous because it would mean that they can play long hours if they do all the household chores.

Make sure you have a chart or a board where you can check out the work they have done and the time they earned so that you won’t lose track of how much time they can spend playing the video games.

2. The “Hitler” approach

How Parents Can Manage Kids’ Video Game Obsession

This is the “no negotiations - just follow” approach for parents who want to keep everything simple. Although it won’t work for many kids these days, there are still those who are obedient enough to do as they are told. Just make sure that your policy is fair and acceptable.

There may be times that your child may ask for extra time especially if they are playing level games and are about to complete another level. This is when you will be faced with a hard decision of sticking to your rules or giving extra time to finish the level. But, rules are rules.

Encourage your kids to be involved in other activities

Surely there are other activities that your child will be interested in. If they think they don’t, that’s because they haven’t tried it yet and have no idea how fun it is to be a kid.

Here’s what you can do:

Sign them up for camps or tours.
Find other ways to channel their creativity and passion. If they like building stuff in Minecraft, they may also enjoy playing with building blocks.
Take them to the beach.
Go to the park and let them play with other kids.

Don’t be afraid to say NO

It could be tough to say no to your kids especially when they start hugging you and giving you butterfly kisses. Not to mention those eyes staring at you as their lives depend on it. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.” If it’s not their time to play video games, then say it.

If you give in once, they will do it again, and again. But if you said no, they would know right away that you mean business. Then you will see that they will look for other ways to get occupied.

Don’t use video games as an off button

Although there are so many instances that we are so tempted just to shove them iPads to keep them quiet whenever you’re doing something really important, this could give your kids the idea that if they are loud enough, you will just give them gadgets to play with for a little peace and quiet.

Make sure you have other activities for them to do when you need to kill time like:

Giving them activity books or board games
Play with their siblings/pets
Do their homework or review for the upcoming test
Watch kid-oriented shows on television

Balance the indoor and outdoor life of your kids

Most of the time, children turn to video games because of boredom and the limited availability of activities they can do outside. As parents, you’re responsible for providing the opportunity for the kids to be outdoors. There’s no experience better than being outdoors for stimulating the body and the mind. Whenever children are outdoors, they have the instinct of getting physically involved with nature and actually live as a human being and not a game character.

Whether it’s rolling on the grass or getting submerged in a creek, having the chance to do something with the whole body is an experience that they will never forget. It also helps with the kids’ overall health and well being. For a day, you can spare your kids the exposure to radiation of the screens.

Yes, you can’t get away with the fact that videogames are already a part of people’s lives. You may be very skeptical about it because you grew up without having them and you had so much fun anyway, but, kids these days are different. They live in a world where technology is the actual world they live in.

There’s nothing else you can do but set the limitations and impose a policy on your kids’ play time. After all, these games can also help your children’s creativity and focus. Might as well believe that it’s alright for them to indulge at a specific time.

  

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