Over the past two decades, video and computer games have become dramatically more fast-paced, realistic, and stimulating. Not long after their introduction, we began to suspect that these games had the same addictive potential as drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Today, family therapists and researchers have confirmed our fears. Listed below are some tips for helping your child avoid getting hooked:
- Don't allow your child to have a computer in their room.
- Allow them to play these games no longer than thirty minutes per day.
- If your child becomes sneaky, noncompliant, or defiant about this time limit, remove this privilege.
- Children birth to six should spend no time playing these games, watching videos, or viewing television.
- So-called "educational" games, videos, and shows are no substitute for real-life learning activities, involving movement, problem-solving, and human relationships.
If parameters are set early, expectations will be easier to manage. We want our children to eventually "police themselves" because eventually they will be able to play games without parental restrictions. For tips on how to say no without losing the relationship, consider attending a Love & Logic workshop or check out the website: www.loveandlogic.com. You'll find plenty of practical strategies and the actual words to use with your kids.
From the Love & Logic Institute