The parenting tips below will get you to evaluate how video games are used at the moment in your family. They may give you some inspiration on how to improve the balance between gaming and real life responsibilities.
NO GAMING IN THE BEDROOM
Make sure you prevent your child from isolating themselves when playing video games. Your child needs supervision on online playgrounds just like they need it on physical playgrounds.
When they play in your presence you will also get to know and understand what they play and why they like it so much. Understanding gaming is important if you want to set good and clear rules around it.
HAVE CLEAR RULES
And why not write these rules on a piece of paper and hang them on the fridge. When it’s time to get off you can just refer to the rules and your children can blame the rules rather than blame you for having to get off the game.
PRACTICE THE RULES
Unfortunately it does need practice and mistakes will be made. That’s ok because they’re kids, remember. They’re learning. If you expect this will need practicing you will get less frustrated.
MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE
Making exceptions shows that you’re in charge. You have control over the situation. Remember it’s always best to decide on these exceptions in discussion with your kids.
NO GAMING BEFORE BEDTIME
Gaming lights up the brain and at bedtime you want the brain to relax. If you let your child play games before bedtime they will lose sleep.
CHOOSE APPROPRIATE GAMES
Playing games can be beneficial for you child’s development if you make sure they play the right games. Appropriate games is not only about content but also about making sure the game supports the development of your child.
MAKE GAMING A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
Invite a few friends over and play games together. It’s great fun! Friends are very important in a child’s development and playing games together can support this.
SET PARENTAL CONTROLS
This is an easy step! Parental controls are usually quite easy to set on a device like a phone, gaming device or pc.
PLAY WITH YOUR CHILD
The best way to understand why your child plays games is to play with them. You don’t have to like the game, but you do have to understand what your child is doing.
Playing the game is also the best way to work out if a game is appropriate for your child or not.
Lastly, playing with your child shows that you care and that you’re interested in what they’re doing.
GET MORE VARIETY IN GAMES
Playing one game obsessively is unhealthy. So if you let your child play video games it’s a good idea to get a variety of games.
BUY OTHER TOYS
Be prepared for kids to be bored after they’ve played video games. This is because their brains are fired up during gaming and after they need to find a new balance.
So if you have other games or toys for them to play it will help.
AVOID FREE MOBILE GAMES
Free games usually come with advertising that are not controlled by the game developer. Games are not expensive.
MANAGE THE ENVIRONMENT
You can put away the consoles or devices when not in use. Out of sight is out of mind. Seeing the device will definitely trigger the desire to play it.
Keep gaming devices in open, brightly lit public places. You can use timers to help manage gaming limits.