Video games: you can’t live with or without them. They turn our kids to zombies, and once they have plugged in, it becomes very difficult to get anything else done. If you have kids, then this is a problem you have had to deal with every day. It can be frustrating sometimes but it is very important that you as a parent control how much your child plays and what content he/she is consuming from the games. You need to be highly involved to keep your child safe and to encourage wholesome development of your kid.
So how do you do this? How do you control something you have so little knowledge about? Well I’ll give a brief guide in this article that will help you do that.
Parenting Your Kids Gaming Habits.
In order to successfully control how and when your kids play, you’ll need to understand a few important things. I’ll explain.
1. Games have ratings. Just like movies and other types of multimedia content, games are also rated and restricted to different age groups. Ratings will range from Early Childhood (EC) to Adults Only (AO) depending on the nature of content in the title. Make sure you read or ask about these ratings next time you purchase a video game for your child. Avoid exposing your kids to content meant for a more mature audience.
2. Always make sure that your children pause play at least twice an hour to stretch and rest their eyes. This reduces the chances of getting cramps and blood clots. The eyes will also need a break as staring at one point for too long might cause fatigue.
3. Am sure most parents don’t know this, so you’ll be forgiven not to: games can be great educational tools. There are several great titles that will assist your child’s mental development in a fun and interactive way. These games offer a wonderful solution to learning while keeping it fun. Your child might be reluctant to pick up a book, but the mention of a video game would get him/her excited.
4. Video games are addictive. Your kids, if allowed to play for too long, may become addicted to video games. This will affect other areas of development. Make sure you regulate the hours they get to play. 2 hours per day should be enough to give your child a chance to engage in other activities that will help his/her growth and development; like playing outside with friends.
5. When buying a video game as a gift for your child, or any child for that matter, ask them to give you a few titles that you can choose from. Do some research on the suggested titles and then choose the most appropriate. This way, it won’t look as if you are forcing choices on the kid (which will be rejected) but rather the kid had a say.
6. Most importantly, be firm. I’m sure this applies to all areas of parenting and video games are no exception. Make sure the rules you have made are followed. An easy way to do this is to involve your children in making them. For instance, you can let them choose when they would like to play video games on non-school days.
Follow these tips and controlling your kids video game habits will be less hastle. They won’t make it a breeze, but will definitely go a long way in making the task less difficult.