In today’s modern, high-tech world, video games have become a staple in many homes and a go-to activity for bored kids. While there are plenty of good things to glean from video games, there are also lots of not-so-pleasant side effects too much game time can bring. If your child seems to be spending more and more time playing video games, and they’re showing less interest in the rest of the world, it may be time to consider ways you can curb your child’s game time. Here are a few things you can try when your child just can’t stop playing video games:
KEEP ALL SCREENS IN COMMON AREAS.
Don’t let your kids retreat to their bedrooms or the basement to play video games for hours, undisturbed. Instead, keep your computers, televisions, and tablets in common areas of your home, like your living room or study, to ensure you’re aware of just how much time your kids are spending with their games.
EVALUATE THE RULES YOU HAVE IN PLACE IN YOUR HOME AROUND VIDEO GAMES.
If your kid can’t tear themselves away from video games, you may need to step back and reevaluate the rules you’ve set around technology use in your home. Do you limit the amount of time your kids can play video games each day? Require them to ask permission first? Put restrictions on the types of games that can be played, or how late they can play them? See what’s working and what isn’t and consider adding some new rules to curb use.
ENFORCE ANY RULES YOU DO PUT INTO PLACE.
Rules are useless if they aren’t followed. Do what you can to enforce the rules you impose on video gaming, and if those rules are broken, you’ll need to be prepared to come up with some consequences. If there are no adverse effects when your kids break your rules, they’ll have no motivation actually to follow them.
FIND NEW WAYS TO REWARD YOUR CHILD THAT DON’T INVOLVE VIDEO GAMES.
If you currently reward your kids for a job well done, a good grade, or help with chores with some extra video game time, reconsider. Instead of tying your child’s happiness and internal reward mechanism to the excitement video games offer, try linking that positivity to something else. Words of encouragement, a family outing, or a board game night can all be great ways to recognize your child’s hard work and achievement.
TRY TO REDIRECT THEIR ENERGY TOWARDS A NEW HOBBY.
Many children don’t often get the opportunity to try something new. Odds are, there are plenty of activities that can tear their interest away from video games – you just have to help them find them. Giving a brand new activity a try can be a great way to help curb their obsession with video games. Depending on your budget, your child’s age, and their personal interests, there are quite a few options to choose from. From baking or basketball to rock climbing or reading a good book, see what captures your kid’s interest and go from there.
If your child has a hard time putting down the controller and stepping away from their video games, it might be time to intervene. These tips should equip you with some of the strategies you’ll need to succeed!